UFC 244 doctor faces online harassment after controversial main event call

The doctor who stopped UFC 244’s main event said he’s been bombarded by threats and harassment since his controversial call.

Dr. Nitin K. Sethi, a New York-based neurologist, said the MMA community should “hang its head in shame” for the way he’s been treated.

Sethi has contemplated asking for police protection in the wake of the fans’ behavior following the event. He said fans have personally threatened him, called his office, and posted fake reviews bashing him online.

”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,” he 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.”

Sethi was hired by the New York State Athletic Commission – on which he serves as the commission’s chief medical officer – to oversee the “BMF” title bout this past Saturday at Madison Square Garden. He said he’s worked for the commission “for a while” as a cageside doctor.

Between the third and fourth rounds of the pay-per-view headliner, Sethi advised referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the bout, which awarded Jorge Masvidal a third-round TKO victory over Nate Diaz. Diaz had suffered a massive cut over his right eye and a slightly smaller cut under it.

Fans immediately jeered the decision, prompting a testy response from Masvidal and a promise from he and Diaz that they would fight again. UFC President Dana White later hedged on that idea, saying he agreed with Sethi’s call to stop the fight.

Sethi declined to discuss the medical basis for his decision, saying it would be personally and professionally unethical for him to discuss a patient’s condition publicly. But he defended his choice as a necessary answer to an imminent concern for Diaz’s health and safety.

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