A horrendous mistake from Herb Dean overshadowed UFC Fight Night in Moscow, as the referee allowed Khalid Murtazaliev to batter CB Dolloway for an outrageous length of time.
Dolloway was failing to adequately protect himself and seemed sapped of energy as Murtazaliev continued to rain down punches.
It seemed like the stoppage was seconds away but remarkably Dean allowed the punishment to continue.
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The crowd and commentators were in disbelief, howling for the veteran official to call off the fight.
It was the buzzer that came to Dolloway's rescue, signalling the end of the first round but the American middleweight couldn't even make it to his feet.
It was then that Dean warned him the fight would be stopped if he didn't sit on the stool in his corner. He repeated the warning twice before waving the contest off, much to the relief of everyone watching.
The early going had been competitive with both men exchanging strikes, but a barrage of knees put Murtazaliev in firm control before he took down his opponent and began to pour on the punishment.
UFC lightweight Paul Felder was on analyst duty for the live television coverage struggled to come to terms with the ridiculously late stoppage.
He said: 'He's just got to stop punching here. It's over. What is he doing?
'I normally like Herb Dean, but that was a big mistake on his part right there.'
Did referee Herb Dean let this go too far? #UFCMoscow #UFC #McDuckMMA
— McDuckMMA (@McDuckMMA) September 15, 2018