Cantwell Explains Controversial Comments

Following Steve Cantwell’s impressive submission victory over Razak Al Hassan at last week’s UFC Fight for the Troops, the victor gave a post fight interview that included some comment that many have felt were inappropriate.  Cantwell won the fight via armbar in which his opponent’s elbow dislocated due to the pressure applied.  While being interviewed by Joe Rogan, Cantwell said that he had “always wanted to do that” and seemingly was very pleased when he watched the replay and saw the joint dislocate.  Steve recently sent word to MMAonTap that he would like to apologize for the post fight comments.

Cantwell’s battle with Al-Hassan lasted a mere four-minutes into round one. Razak appeared to push the pace when the fight began, initially stalking Steve around the Octagon with punches and kicks. But after a few exchanges Cantwell, the more refined striker, landed two clean left hands before taking Al-Hassan to the floor of the Octagon. He quickly passed to side-control, then secured a ull mount. In a flash he took his opponents right arm and locked it tightly into the confines of an armbar. Al-Hassan attempted to free his arm by rolling forward but Cantwell rolled with him on to his stomach and locked the arm in tighter. Cantwell rolled forward again to his back with the arm still hooked tightly. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity – and making clear eye contact with Al-Hassan and referee Mario Yamasaki – Cantwell applied additional pressure that resulted in Razak’s arm breaking at the elbow – at which point Yamasaki immediately called an end to the fight.

Cantwell was thrilled with the victory, as Al-Hassan was a formidable opponent with a solid background in Tae-Kwon-Do and Jiu-Jitsu. However, some controversy has arisen over his remarks to UFC commentator Joe Rogan when he was interviewed after the fight. Cantwell explains; “You know that was a really weird outcome to the fight. I had the arm locked in tightly and expected Razak to tap right away – then we rolled twice and it got even tighter. I was thinking to myself ‘This guy is made of rubber – this is crazy’. The only thing I could to end the fight was force the arm until either it broke or he tapped, and that’s what I did. Fighting is always a series of calculated risks, and he had ample opportunity to tap. But none of us enter the ring trying to end each others career, and I do regret the comments I made and being so animated about it afterwards. It was the adrenalin taking over.”

Shortly after the fight, Cantwell called the UFC and requested Al- Hassan’s phone number to speak to him directly. He reached Al-Hassan at home and expressed a heart-felt apology for the comments he made regarding the injury. He also shared some techniques and healing methods to aid Razak in his recovery. “When Razak heals up I want him to come out to Vegas and train with me. He’s a great guy, a great fighter, and has a future in this sport for sure. There is absolutely no ill will between us,” said Cantwell.

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