NYSAC Doctor Talks UFC 244 Death Threats
The main event for UFC 244 was one of the most anticipated fights of 2019, as Jorge Masivdal and Nate Diaz went to a bloody war for three rounds.
Prior to the fourth round in their five-round BMF title fight, Dr. Nitin K. Sethi called the fight due to severe cuts above and below Diaz’s right eye.
While Diaz and Masvidal did not want the fight to end, Sethi now has to deal with the scorn of the UFC fans who feel Sethi robbed them of a classic conclusion for an exciting fight between two of the best in the sport.
”I’m a very good neurologist and a very good doctor, and calling me f*cking scum online and calling my office staff and yelling at them, threatening me, I fear for my health and safety,” Sethi told MMA Fighting. “Somebody’s going to get hurt, and it’s probably going to be me this time. People don’t realize what they do when they talk about these things. But that’s the hard reality of this sport,” he added.
“I made an objective call based on my assessment of the fighter,” he said. “Not just the cut, but the overall assessment of the fighter (and) how the fight was going. Once I felt I could not guarantee the health and safety going forward, I had to make a tough call,” he said, while admitting he is very aware of Diaz’s toughness and refusal to quit.
”The moment I lose my objectivity and I’m concerned how my actions are viewed by the UFC, by the fans, by the media, then I cease to be a ringside physician, and I cease to be doing my job. I have to be objective, and objectively, you make a call.”
Sethi claims official Dan Miragliotta was worried for Diaz following the second round, which is confusing due to the official being upset that he was told to wave the fight off prior to round four.
”Going forward off that third round, I could not guarantee his health and safety,” Sethi said. “When in doubt, you have to do what you have to do to protect the athlete’s safety. His health and safety comes first. Every action of mine has to be viewed with that foremost in everybody’s mind, but that doesn’t happen.”
”It’s a shame that’s what it boils down to,” the NYSAC assigned doctor said. “Anybody who’s involved in that sport should be hanging their head in shame when that happens. That’s not how sports are done. I’ve never experienced that, and I’ve been involved in a lot of sports,” he said while adding that this instance will now likely have a major impact on other doctor’s decisions moving forward.
”After what happened to me, let me tell you one thing: The only thing sad about this will be you’ll have doctors who will now be very afraid to make calls,” he said. “And when people are scared to make calls because they’re so afraid of the repercussions, I think we’re entering dangerous territory.”
Report: MMA Fighting