In case you didn’t see the fight, here’s Dave Meltzer’s description of the controversial Carano / Cyborg finish:
Santos took over late in the round and with the clock ticking down, she was pounding on Carano. In a somewhat controversial decision, referee Josh Rosenthal stopped the match with less than a tick left in the round, and until Santos celebrated by jumping on the top of the cage, much of the crowd thought it was the end of the round as opposed to the end of the fight.
The stoppage would not have been controversial if there were 20 seconds left in the fight. Clearly, a stoppage based on the pounding Carano had taken, under most circumstances, wouldn’t have even been an issue. The only issue is that there was one second left in the round, and at that point perhaps Carano should have at least been given the opportunity to use her one-minute rest period before the start of the second round.
Personally, I think it would have been unfair to Cyborg not to have stopped the fight. She beat Gina up until Gina went fetal and covered up. That’s the end of the fight, and if Gina hadn’t wanted it to be stopped, all she would have had to do was go for Cyborg’s wrists or try to block the punches. But instead she covered up and did nothing. She was beaten, done.
I was just as disappointed as everyone else because I would have loved to see more too, but that’s just not the way it rolled. The ending might have been a bit wonky and confusing to those at the event live, but it was more than clear cut and definite enough to stand as a good call and a perfectly acceptable finish for the first women’s MMA superfight.