Dominick Cruz Requests Not Having Keith Peterson Officiate UFC 259 Fight

Dominick Cruz has put in a request to avoid having Keith Peterson be the referee for his UFC 259 fight.

Cruz is scheduled to take on Casey Kenney in the featured preliminary bout of the UFC 259 card. “The Dominator” hasn’t competed since failing to recapture the UFC Bantamweight Title against Henry Cejudo back in May 2020. Peterson was the referee for that fight and Cruz made it clear that he felt the official stopped the bout far too soon. Cruz even accused Peterson of smelling like booze and cigarettes.

During a pre-fight news conference, Cruz revealed that he put in a request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission to prevent Peterson from officiating his bout with Kenney (h/t

“I made the request, and you hope the commission can honor your request. But when it all comes down to it, they run things, right? They have control over everything.”

The former two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion went on to say that all indications point to his request being granted.

“(UFC vice president of regulatory affairs) Marc Ratner alluded he was able to make that possible for me. It’s not that I hate this guy or anything. This is a business thing, and I did not feel like he was doing his just. There are plenty of refs. I’ve never had an issue with any other ref in the history of my career – before the fight started. I had an issue with him before the fight started in the locker room. So that’s what made me stand by the fact that I’d prefer another ref.”

This will be the first time Cruz has been in a non-title bout since September 2014 when he stopped Takeya Mizugaki in the opening frame after being out of action for over three years. It’s also the first time he won’t be featured on a main card since that fight.

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