Ivey has been an entertainer as much as a fighter throughout his career. Staged cage walks to Rocky, Silence of the Lambs and other skits have been a part of who he is. It is great showmanship but the way the fight ended left alot of people with questions and even more people with an opinion of the spectacle.
Listen to Ivey explain above and check out the clip below.
So to recap.. Johnathan Ivey fakes a heart attack, drops Travis Fulton, proceeds to follow up with GNP… then decides he can’t punch his idol in the face anymore and taps out. #mmathings pic.twitter.com/grK54YhOe0
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) July 1, 2018
Ivey told BluegrassMMA this about what transpired.
It’s kind of complicated Gary. When I turned pro on the undercard of a hook’n shoot event years ago, Travis Fulton was the main event that night. I looked up to him throughout my career and tried to emulate his career as much as I could. Years ago I tattooed a portrait of him on my leg sleeve, that I was dedicating to the men in the sport that I looked up to. I was supposed to defend this heavyweight title in February but UFC vet after UFC vet would agree to the fight and then drop out. So then it was agreed upon that Fulton would be the opponent and I was excited. I would get to fight the guy I looked up to from the beginning. The first couple minutes was Travis and I just exchanging punches and kicks. Then I caught him with a left hook that hurt him and put him down with a right hand. Once he went down I followed him to the ground and through some hard shots. The second one I threw his eyes rolled back in his head. I told the ref Travis was done and to stop it but he didn’t. I threw some more punches and Travis came back a little bit. He was still defenseless but he was able to bring his legs up. So I put my knee on his head and just threw short shots. He wasn’t moving and his head was trapped. His legs were up but he was defenseless. I threw a couple more punches and begged the ref to stop it. The ref wouldn’t. So i stood up and backed away and bent over to tap the mat. Yes I wanted to fight Travis, but I didn’t want to punch him after his eyes rolled back and he was defenseless. I was never the fighter Travis was and I never will be. He’s the reason I made the decisions I did during my career. I wasn’t going to keep punching him when the fight should have been over.