Late stoppage is worse because a fighters health is most important, however people need to look at an early stoppage more closely.
It doesn't just mess up a fight's outcome. It could potentially harm a fighters income and UFC career. When a referee stops a fight too early, he's potentially robbing a fighter of a win bonus, and for some lower level fighters, that win bonus could have really made a difference for them. Also throw in the fact that when you're a lower leveled guy, sometimes one or two strikes is all you need for the UFC to send you packing. So no, an early stoppage doesn't JUST potentially ruin a fight outcome, it can really mess up the progress of a guys career, and when they're fighting for their jobs on the prelims making 8k to show up, an unfair loss really sucks that much more for them. I'm not saying they should be making bank, that's not the argument here, but they do deserve a legit chance to prove themselves, and a referee stepping in too soon when they're clearly still in the fight must really suck in their minds. They may never get that huge opportunity again.
But yeah, late stoppage is still worse. Their life is more important than their salary, but it's not hard to see both sides of the argument in my opinion, even if you know one is clearly the right answer. I'm sure some of these fighters don't even see it that way. They'd rather risk it more to provide for their families.
Psalm 30:5 "For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Top 3 Favorite Fighters
1. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell
2. Glover Teixeira
3. Demian Maia