Josh Barnett was on the receiving end of an eye gouge during his win over Andrei Arlovski, but does not blame him at all.
The Belarusian poked Barnett in the eye and he turned away in pain, after which Arlovski followed him and added another punch before the referee intervened.
"No, that's his job," said Barnett of the referee after the Hamburg bout.
"The ref doesn't tell you to stop, you're not supposed to stop. (Arlovski's) job is not to go out there and be my best friend. This isn't the best-friend-making competition…this is the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
"I hold no grudges against him. He was grabbing the inside of my glove, too. Blatantly illegal. Don't hold any grudges about it, in the least. Only disappointed I didn’t do it first."
In the third round, Barnett would get his man via a rear-naked choke hold, securing his 35th professional win.
Barnett went on to say that are a number of fighters that deserve heavyweight title shots and that he is among them.
"At this point, guys like me and Andrei, we've already won belts," continued the American.
"There's a slew of guys out there like us in the heavyweight division that have already proven we're capable of being the world champion, anywhere you put us, and we're always ready to take the challenge. And it's always acceptable for us to be in the title fights."