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EliteXC Ref Explains Nelson-Arlovski Stand-Up

Andrei Arlovski vs. Roy Nelson – Watch more free videos

I have to say this for AOL Fanhouse’s Michael David Smith, when he sinks his teeth into something he doesn’t let go until he gets what he wants. While the rest of us have been stuck on this Seth Petruzelli situation, he was focused on a different aspect of Saturday’s EliteXC event. Seems that the odd stand-up in the Andrei Arlovski-Roy Nelson bout (see above, the stand-up comes at around the 4:27 mark) bothered Smith. So he kept after referee Jorge Ortiz until he got an answer:

“When I’m working a fight, they’re told in the locker room before the fight to keep working, continue the action moving,” Ortiz said. “Nelson did attempt the kimura. When he lost the kimura, at that point they had spent a good part of the round on the ground and I felt there wasn’t a reasonable attempt at a submission, at a finish. At that point I decided: Let’s get them up. Let’s see if he can improve the position, because in my opinion there wasn’t a reasonable attempt at finishing the fight.”

“In my opinion he wasn’t active enough,” Ortiz said. “I thought he needed to be more aggressive on the ground to attempt to finish the fight, and when I feel the action is at a point where it’s stale and it’s not going anywhere, at that point is where I decide to change it up and get something going here.”

Of course, what he “got going” was a stand-up fight that was most definitely more in Arlovski’s favor than Nelson’s. That’s not to say that Nelson would have won without the stand-up, but he had achieved a dominant position on the mat with plenty of time left in the round.

“Big Country”, as you might imagine, was also none too pleased with the stand-up when I called him earlier this week to ask what he was thinking when Ortiz brought the fighters back to their feet.

“I was thinking, this ref’s an idiot. I was trying to figure out what he was trying to say. He said to me, ‘Improve your position.’ And I was thinking, I have a position. A good position. …When he stood us up, I felt then like I was fighting two people.”

Nelson went on to describe the experience of fighting on the EliteXC card as “a three-ring circus” and concluded that he “learned a lot about the fight business” that week. Nelson was also bothered by the TKO stoppage later in the fight, remarking that if the ref was going to force a stand-up to impede his game plan on the ground, he at least wanted the benefit of the doubt when it came to the stoppage.

“I knew it looked bad, but I never went out. I just thought, if this ref’s going to give Andrei a mulligan on the ground, at least let me keep fighting. If I’m going to lose, I want Andrei to really have to beat the crap out of me. I was never mad at Andrei. I was just mad at the ref.”

Ortiz told AOL’s Smith that his background is in karate, but said he appreciates the ground game and was merely trying to keep the action going. That’s understandable, and his logic seems reasonable. But it’s one thing to stand up a guy who’s languishing in half-guard, and another to stand him up when he’s in side control, working for a kimura and throwing knees to the body.

Cagepotato Comments

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Gavin- October 11, 2008 at 6:55 pm
I love all the man on man contact.
Gavin- October 11, 2008 at 3:41 am
I love all the fisting! Hammer fisting. My friend Brian like to get mounted. However, I think that its better to be on the top.
kimbo is crap.- October 11, 2008 at 1:09 am
stand-ups should be non existent. its complete crap. if you know anyting about bjj you know that anything takes time and you have to think a few steps ahead. you dont kumora to kumora, you kumora so he counters so you can counter that and get back or mount or something. give it time. at least a few minutes of no action.

at the same note, if you have guys standing and they arent throwing alot of hand or any good combos, then they should lay them down. if they get stood up for "stale" action on bottom, lay them down when they are standing!!
Gavin- October 10, 2008 at 9:07 pm
I love ground and pound. Especially the pounding part. Its so raw and agressive.
fukelitexc- October 10, 2008 at 4:46 pm
I thought the same thing when I watched the fight that night, I was like wait, why did he make them get up, cuz he was winning?...... I don't have much respect for Dana White, but he was right.... The Elite XC is shaming the world of MMA, and in the worst possible way. With these unorganized events being aired on CBS, it shows all the hockey moms and joe six packs out there (eloquent huh?) that MMA is a big joke. At the same time, maybe the money-hungry Dana White should have thought of striking this deal with CBS before Elite XC did..........
shutupandfight- October 10, 2008 at 9:48 am as "rester".
shutupandfight- October 10, 2008 at 9:46 am
Roy Nelson- "Wrester/Boxer"......the fugger wants to call himself a boxer...let him box...lights out fatass...KABOOM!
mike- October 10, 2008 at 4:00 am
I am not a fan of standups at all, but this was the worst standup in MMA history.

This guy should never be allowed to ref an MMA fight ever again.

Its ludicrous.

Nelson has a deep - DEEP kimura and is landing knees to the body and he's yelling to "improve the position" WTF????

I smell a fix...
Higgz- October 10, 2008 at 3:26 am
Then the ref should put the fight on the ground if they are not throwing effective strikes.
capital L- October 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm
I don't know if Nelson was going to secure the Kimura, but the fact that he had failed to up until that point is a very poor reason to stand them up from that position. I sincerely hope that this ref does not work any future fight of any relative importance.
babcock- October 9, 2008 at 8:17 pm
This is fuckin horrible, what a piece of shit fuckin embarrassment elite XC is they are tainting this wonderful sport and its really fuckin obvious.
Anonymous- October 9, 2008 at 8:14 pm
People on this forum are morons.elite xc fans boo?did u freaks see the last ufc in georgia the ufc fans were booing like crazy.oh yeah but u people only c 1 side. u hate e lite xc so much u r blind.stop being ufc fan boys.all i hear is people wish bad on other orgs.if u took your head out of your butts,you would see there is good mma besides ufc.of course they r the best but they don't care like u think they do.they never did the things they r doing now.because of open your eyes and stop hating with all the negative bullshit
Bill Burge- October 9, 2008 at 7:43 pm
You know, I can see the stand up arguments go either way. From an excitement perspective and, ultimately a financial one, they stand fights up to keep the action moving.

If the true test of MMA, however, is to see who can whoop up on who, a surprisingly agile overweight guy like Big Country can use his size to just sit on an opponent while they where themselves out trying to get out from under him. It's not exciting, but it is technically effective. Anyone who's ever been trapped under a larger person knows this, and, Saturday, Arlovski looked like he simply didn't have the strength/leverage to get Big Country off of him.

But oh well, Arlovski is still a better overall fighter.
Joseph- October 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm

You are a COMPLETE tool,

EliteXC is not in charge of the refs, the SACs are.
Also, this happens everywhere, not just EliteXC.

In the UFC, it JUST RECENTLY happened with Mir vs Brock and Cro Cop vs Gonzaga.
cr_trinity- October 9, 2008 at 7:19 pm
How many of you understand what MMA actually is? Nelson was working the kimura, and trying to fake Arlovski out in order to obtain full mount position. While he was trying to do that, the referee stood them up. The announcers also seemed to ignore that which Nelson was doing on the ground as well. Judging by the reactions of the crowd, and many of the comments that prepubescent morons leave on this website, I would say that, at least in Elite XC, BJJ is a foreign concept, if not totally misunderstood and unappreciated.

Arlovski owes Nelson a rematch. That fight was influenced to go down a certain way and not allowed to be a competition between two fighters. That and Arlovski had over three weeks to prepare for this one, and Nelson was given only one.

Oh and Cage Potato Fans prove that yet again most of them are stupid little children who have obviously received State Indoctrination, and can't actually think for themselves; they just parrot verbatim what the varying MMA talking heads say on any given topic.
Russell- October 9, 2008 at 7:07 pm
yeah.. you all are morons. I like Nelson, but he had Arlovski on the ground for most of the first round.. .and literally did no damage. It was a good stand up.
Brad- October 9, 2008 at 6:59 pm
Personally I don't think he was doing enough either. He never fully committed to the Kimura. If he wanted it he could have had it. He never attempted to explode as Bas would say. In my mind he was just laying there looking somewhat busy. He should have been throwing knees with bad intentions or trying hard for the sub or to improve his position. In the interest of an entertaining fight I think it was a good standup. I have no problem with ground work, but you have to work like Nog or BJ or any of the high level guys do, you go for a sub or improve position...what you don't do is sit there on national TV when millions are watching you.

as far as the UFC is concerned, I think they need to start standing people up if they aren't constantly pressing the action from the top. taking someone down should not just be done to avoid damage on the feet. This is a fight and you have to make an attempt to win it.
jared- October 9, 2008 at 6:57 pm
the ref was paid off - terrible call! worst stang up ive ever seen
JPfighter- October 9, 2008 at 5:58 pm
Ref was definitely wrong, and stood them up prematurely. The sad part is we will never know if Nelson could have finished Arlovski on the ground. It's weird, but there is something to be said for regressing back to allowing more time on the ground. Especially if they have side mount or better.
Anonymous- October 9, 2008 at 5:57 pm
"EXC fans are fucking morons"

You mean casual fans are fucking morons. These same people would go to any event and boo.
Markdog- October 9, 2008 at 5:57 pm
Man, that stupid ass ref was ready to spring in between the fighters, yelling, "improve your position," while Nelson had the Kimura locked in at mid-point, as if someone had a half a milli riding on that fight. BS
Agonistes- October 9, 2008 at 5:48 pm
I actually agree with the ref on this one. Nelson had a good position, yeah, but he wasn't doing anything with it at that point, he was just smothering Andrei. He attempted the kimura before that, but the action on the ground had stalled out and the stand-up was totally legit. And as for the "controversial" TKO... Big Country, you were gone, that's why you don't remember it. Dude hit the mat like a sack of potatoes.
Fluyid- October 9, 2008 at 5:47 pm
TERRIBLE stand up by the ref. It's indefensible.
Vrax- October 9, 2008 at 5:42 pm
What I can't handle is that no one even seems to have noticed the earlier Americana attempt, not even the little XC fight evaluating robo-super-computer thingy that they show after each fight.

I've turned to drinking.
Markdog- October 9, 2008 at 5:35 pm
Fuck these mother Fuckers!