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Once Again, A Bellator Event Has Shined a Light on the Incompetency of MMA Refereeing


(A full replay of Quieroz vs. Volkov. For those of you who don’t have time for the whole thing, the relevant bits are after the jump.)

Although it’s a given that fight promotions have no control over which referees are assigned to their events/fights — because if they did, Dana White would have permanently relegated Steve Mazaggati to the UFC’s super secret “AIDS-ridden Lion Fights” division — it has become apparent that Bellator is clearly getting the shit end of the stick when it comes to acquiring a decent referee. Just a couple weeks ago at Bellator 78, referee Jerry Poe allowed Andrey Koreshkov to savage Maruis Zaromskis’ unconscious body so badly that it would have been considered necrophilia in some states. And just two events later at Bellator 80, referee James Warring displayed a similar, albeit less dangerous, incompetency during the Vinicius Queiroz/Alexander Volkov fight.

Our friends over at Fightlinker were able to find a compilation of Warring’s missteps during the fight, which we’ve placed below, and my God do they redefine the phrase “interesting interpretation of the rules.” Amidst a barrage of ridiuclously quick stand-ups, Warring appeared as if he were making up rules out of thin air, warning Queiroz that he could not “lead with the forehead” while he was on the ground, nor could he strike the top or the “Mohawk area” of his opponent’s head. While the first rule is an outright fabrication, the criteria for the “Mohawk area” head strikes can be found in the unified rules of MMA. That being said, Warring’s belief that a Mohawk typically starts in the middle of one’s forehead highlights the growing problems in MMA refereeing when it comes to interpreting the rules.

The final standup: When you see it, you’ll shit bricks.

Following the loss, Queiroz’s manager, Josef Borges, filed a complaint with the Florida State Boxing Commission. Opposing Views has the scoop:

“[Referee James] Warring could have contributed to [and] altered the result of the fight after he ordered the fighters to rise up with only 15 seconds [on the ground] … in a moment that was favorable for Vincius,” wrote Borges.

Borges has stated that he wouldn’t attempt to overturn the result, but hopes that the referee will go back and reread the rulebook.

“I would like you to register my protest and I hope that Mr. James Warring will update [his] knowledge of the rules of MMA,” wrote Borges. ”MMA means also fighting on the ground. Getting a takedown and dominating the ground also adds points to the fight.”

Now, we’re not going to say that Queiroz would have won the fight had he not been the victim of some egregious standups, but just skip ahead to the 3:18 mark of the video and tell us that the cards were not at the least stacked against him. Quieroz secures a takedown with roughly 1:05 left in the round and is almost immediately stood up with 50 seconds remaining in said round. That, my friends, is some grade A bullshit. While Bellator commentators Jimmy Smith and Sean Wheelock were quick to call out Warring for his injustices, can you imagine what would’ve happened if Joe Rogan had been cageside? Warring would’ve probably left the arena in tears and looking for his favorite blankey.

The only question that remains is: Will Warring attempt to blame his poor performance on that same dastardly sauna that somehow filled Queiroz’s body with Stanozolol at UFC 120?

-J. Jones

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amsterdamheavy- November 15, 2012 at 1:41 am
People like this make you realize that on the grand scale, Mazzagatti and Winslow are not that bad. Holy shit Warring is a fucking idiot - *I* can ref a fight better than that after watching this shit for almost 20 years.
macreadysshack- November 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm
I'm pretty sure Rickson is not going to tap Warring to ref his quasi-MMA 'sub-league (strikes allowed)'.
Fried Taco- November 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm
I had noticed Warring in an earlier fight, when it went to the ground, he was just hovering over the fighters like he was going to jump in and stop it at any second. I thought it was strange, but didn't realize how idiotic he was until this fight. My nickname for him is James "The Incompetent" Warring.
JoseMonkey- November 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm
At least Joe Rogan and Warring would see eye to eye on the ice-in-the-cage issue.
Colin Timberlake- November 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm
You know, you could rotate the pics for "Also on Cage Potato" in the sidebar. I find looking at Bob Sapp every time a disincentive to check out what this site has to say about MMA regularly...
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