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Sylvia vs. Arlovski 4, Baroni vs. Ribeiro Marred by Confusing and Dangerous Rules at ‘One FC: Pride of a Nation’

(Hey, this just means One FC will rake in big bucks for “Sylvia vs. Arlovski 5: Please, God, Make It Stop”)

By Elias Cepeda

It’s a good thing the MMA world was so excited to see the fourth meeting of Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski at One FC 5: Pride of a Nation today in the Philippines, because now it might just get a fifth. The two former UFC champions were set to clash Friday near the top of the Singapore-based organization’s card, and they did, but with an unsatisfying result for fighters and fans alike, thanks to One FC’s convoluted and dangerous rules regarding kicks to the head of downed opponents.

They are legal. Sort of.

Phil Baroni won his bout earlier in the evening after effectively using kicks to the head of his opponent Rodrigo Ribeiro. However, when Arlovski landed glancing kicks to the head of Sylvia after dropping him to the mat on all fours with a punch combination, the referee called the blows illegal and gave Sylvia time to recover. When Sylvia could not, the fight was ruled a no contest. You see, One FC allows kicks to the head of a downed opponent only after a fighter is given express, in-the-moment permission by the referee. What could possibly go wrong?

(Check out GIFs of the Baroni and Arlovski finishes — as well as full results from One FC 5 — at the bottom of this post.)

Besides giving referees a strange discretion that would seem to do nothing but open up new and exciting opportunities for oversight, slip ups, and corruption, such a rule necessarily stops the action in fights and gives fighters something else to think about other than the only two things they should be — attacking their opponent and defending themselves.

Rules like this are also going to be needlessly open to uneven application and enforcement. For example, Baroni won his fight and didn’t appear to look for nor receive permission to kick the head of the dropped Ribeiro, prior to striking. Neither did Arlovski. But Baroni won, Ribeiro lost, and Arlovski walked away with a no-contest despite convincingly beating his rival.

One FC put together a solid card with some great mixed martial arts competitors for their fifth event. Unfortunately, what will be most remembered is how the organization’s confused and unorganized rules left their referees, athletes, and spectators confused as well.

We don’t need an accounting from the organization as to what rationale led to their strange rule-set. They simply need to recognize the damage that they have done and abandon them.

Allow kicks and knees to the head of downed opponents, or don’t. One FC has to choose.

GIF of Baroni’s win:

GIF of Arlovski and Sylvia’s no contest:

GIFs courtesy of BloodyElbow

“One FC 5: Pride of a Nation” results
- Bibiano Fernandes def. Gustavo Falciroli via unanimous decision
- Eduard Folayang def. Felipe Enomoto via unanimous decision
- Andrei Arlovski vs. Tim Sylvia ended in a no contest (illegal kicks)
- Eric Kelly def. Jens Pulver via TKO, 1:46 of round 2
- Rolles Gracie def. Tony Bonello via submission (rear-naked choke), 1:33 of round 3
- Jung Hwan Cha def. Igor Gracie via TKO, 1:03 of round 3
- Soo Chul Kim def. Kevin Belingon via unanimous decision
- Gregor Gracie def. Nicholas Mann via submission (armbar), 3:38 of round 1
- Phil Baroni def. Rodrigo Ribeiro via TKO, 1:00 of round 1
- Shannon Wiratchai def. Mitch Chilson via KO, 3:02 of round 2
- Honorio Banario def. Andrew Benibe via KO, 3:47 of round 3

Cagepotato Comments

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macreadysshack- September 2, 2012 at 7:35 am
Goddamn that Arlovski combination.

True, combos always look good on a heavy bag, but still ...
blaphtome- September 1, 2012 at 9:18 am
Only thing I gave a shit about here is that Jens lost again. Feel fuckin horrible for that dude already. Wish he would start coaching or managing or something. Heart breaking to watch him go on like this.
fjfgjgdd- September 1, 2012 at 6:49 am
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credit card and f ree s hipping.
I bought two pairs. Cheap, good quality, you can go and ship with there
coldbeer78- September 1, 2012 at 6:13 am
Greatest evahh!!!!!
smellypiratehooker- September 1, 2012 at 5:55 am
Agreed. Also, good point about the DQ. It was a little differant of a senario, but that was what happened in the Silva-Okami fight(their first battle).
Mr_Misanthropy- September 1, 2012 at 3:50 am
Nobody probably gives two shits but I thought I'd share-

Just saw Eyehategod last night with the original line up and then tonight went and saw Fornicator, Ceremonial Castings (with fog machine that smelled like it was incinerating hippies), Scorched Earth (with KK WarSlut form Destroyer 666 (Australia) for one cover), and Drawn and Quartered. Good shit, my eardrums are bleeding and my vocal cords are shredded. See what happens when there is no UFC?
imnotgay- September 1, 2012 at 1:24 am
tim sylvia has the sexiest calves in mma just sayin
ctastrophe- September 1, 2012 at 12:10 am
@smellypiratehooker Tim Sylvia hasn't intelligently defended himself in years. I think the last time he was actually able to intelligently defend himself was way back when he was thin enough to be able to see his own penis while standing.
ctastrophe- September 1, 2012 at 12:04 am
If the kicks were illegal, wouldn't that be a "Disqualification" and not a "No Contest"? Kicking a downed opponent, when illegal, isn't something that requires warnings like and eye poke or nut kick, so if the strike results in the other fighter being unable to fight, then it's a disqualification. Or at least it should be...
sadowolf- August 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm
The "open attack" rule is dumb as hell. If a move is legal, just have it be legal. It makes no sense to have a fighter defer to a referee during the fight about whether or not they can do a certain technique; and it's beyond stupid to expect a fighter to do so in the heat of the moment.
Frank Mur- August 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm
I'm sad that Tim's fat shoulder got in the way. Was really hoping his head would come off.
LivingDedMan- August 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm
How's taste?
FilmDrunk- August 31, 2012 at 4:59 pm
I was pleasantly surprised both by a Baroni win (I don't know at what point I actually started rooting for Baroni but it happened) and Arlovski not going to sleep after taking a few shots from Sylvia. Dude needs to gets his goddamned hands up if he wants to beat anyone worth a damn though.
ReX13- August 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm
What the actual fuck, Elias? Crediting Bloody Elbow? I hope like hell you fix that shit, pronto, and credit ZP like you have some goddamn sense.
That is Mr. Lebowski to you- August 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm
What we need is a catchweight all-time loser fight between Tim Sylvia and Gabe Rudiger. Bob Sapp will be the ref...
crappiefloper- August 31, 2012 at 3:09 pm
Only thing missing in Baroni vs. Ribeiro was a thumb up his ass and a reach around with pair of rusty fucking pliers
RearNakedSpoon- August 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm
"One FC allows kicks to the head of a downed opponent only after a fighter is given express, in-the-moment permission by the referee."
So the ref is saying "Kick him in the head" or something to that effect during a fight?
johnhayte- August 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm
That is some EliteXC level bullshit right there.
crappiefloper- August 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Watching Baroni vs. Ribeiro was pretty much exactly how my first divorce went. I would be playing the role of Ribeiro, with my ex's lawyer being Baroni.
She got how to spell,"relevance" in the settlement
smellypiratehooker- August 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm
So Tim Sylvia gets knocked back into infancy and Arlovski gets rewarded with a no contest. What a jip. But he was intelligently defending himself...for a 7 month old.
LesnarsIntestine- August 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm
Officer Barbrady u twat fletch.
Fletch the V Stretch- August 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Can't tell if this comment is really meant negatively towards me or not. Either way, yes that would be the name of ONE police officer in South Park.
Mr_Misanthropy- August 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm
It's OK Timmy, have another bearclaw and you'll feel better.

Aaawww, poor guy, still got the sniffles? Here, here's a moonpie. I know, I know. Those are your favorites.
Fletch the V Stretch- August 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm
Haha, man good shit. "Nice"
Buster Hyman- August 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm
it looks like sylvia is sponsored by carl's jr./hardees on his shorts. how fitting!
The_Dead_Cow- August 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Check out Baroni holding the fence while he's givin Riberio the boot.
Fried Taco- August 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm
It's okay, the ref gave him permission to hold the fence.
amsterdamheavy- August 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm
So, with this "ref's discretion" bullshit, a promising promotion goes down in flames