The odd sequence of events happened in the final minute, as Palhares landed a head kick that dropped Miller, landed a few follow up punches on the ground, and then celebrated prior to referee Herb Dean stepping in to stop it.
Bustamante stated that Miller told Palhares to stop, and Palhares took it as a verbal submission and celebrated. But Dean told Palhares he did not stop the fight and forced him to continue, where he ended up getting knocked down by Miller upon restarting. He survived, however, and ultimately won a decision, but he stands by the belief that Miller yelled stop in the first round.
In comments made to Sherdog.com, Miller's manager and trainer from AMA Fight Club Mike Constantino refuted Palhares' contention of what happened.
"Dan assures me he did not say a word during that exchange," Constantino said. "Needless to say that with the loud crowd, the language barrier, the adrenaline rush and every other factor involved -- including 'do not stop until the ref pulls you off' -- I do not believe that Toquinho pulled up because of Dan murmuring 'stop, stop.' The fact remains that Dan Miller did not say 'stop, stop' -- there is no need to argue the toughness and mettle of Dan Miller, however I just have to put the facts on the table after hearing this."
Adding to the confusion of the moment was Miller's initial reaction, as he walked towards his corner like the fight was over. But Constantino says that's because he thought the fight had been stopped based on Palhares' reaction.
"He could not see and by Toquinho?s reaction, Dan assumed Herb stopped the fight,? wrote Constantino. ?Once he heard us screaming to turn around and the fight wasn?t stopped, he ran across the Octagon to continue fighting."
Continue fighting he did, and even won the third round on one judges scorecard after taking a beating in the second round. Though he lost the decision, the ever resilient Miller showed a lot of guts in fighting back after the incident.
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Penick's Analysis: You can clearly hear someone yell something right before Palhares stops his attack, but it's not at all clear where it came from, and with Dean not making a move to stop the fight Palhares should have continued. I don't think Miller would verbally submit like that, that just doesn't seem like him, but something certainly gave Palhares cause to react like that. It was a good fight that probably should have earned them each "Fight of the Night" honors, though they lost out to Ross Pearson and Edson Barboza. Still, despite the odd moment, they each put forth a good effort and gave the crowd a good showing.