(Screencap via Deadpsin)
We’re sure you’ve heard all about it by now, but this issue warrants covering by every MMA media outlet around.
At yesterday’s RFA 14, flyweight fighter Junior Maranhao blacked out in his corner between the fourth and fifth rounds.
Did his corner stop the fight?
Did the doctor stop the fight?
Did the referee stop the fight?
The man fell unconscious on the floor (he was out cold) and the fight was allowed to continue. Here’s a GIF (via Zombie Prophet):
We have to stop writing such things off as part of MMA’s inherent dangers. Doctors, cornermen, and referees are there to protect the fighters, not send them into the meat grinder. This sentiment was touched on in a Deadspin article recently. We even wrote about it here on CagePotato, saying that the culture of “going out on your shield” is guaranteed to result in disaster.
Is there anything that can be done? It’s beyond CagePotato’s power to revoke licenses, but the Wyoming’s MMA commission can do that. Hopefully they see the error of their ways, lest the unthinkable happen.
The Wyoming State Board of MMA has issued a statement to Fansided.com. It reads:
Dear Mr. Sanchez,
Thank you for reaching out to the Board. As to your question regarding Mr. Maranhao, he was thoroughly examined by a licensed physician after he fell off his stool between the 4th and 5th round of the RFA event in Cheyenne on April 11. He was also examined by his corner men and the referee. All parties, including Mr.Maranhao, believed and stated unequivocally that Mr. Maranhao was medically safe to and capable of finishing the fight. In fact, he fought well in the last round and lost in a close split decision. He was examined by a licensed physician after the bout as well and again found to have no neurological or other medical issues of concern.
The Wyoming State Board of Mixed Martial Arts stands by our physicians and officials and has the utmost confidence in their ability to assess the medical status of Wyoming contestants. Safety is the Board’s number one priority and all necessary precautions were taken at the April 11 RFA event to ensure that Mr. Maranhao was safe to continue fighting.
Again, thank you for your interest in Wyoming MMA.
This isn’t good enough. It’s far worse than “not good enough,” in fact. I know expecting accountability from an athletic commission is asking a lot, but a fighter collapsing in his corner and being allowed to continue is criminal. Despite what the commission said, there was no thorough examination performed by the doctor. This is what MMA is like in some parts of the country, people.