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Tag: controversial stoppage

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Refereeing — And Why Nevada Needs “Big” John McCarthy


(We’re going to have a clean, fair fight. Obey my commands at all times. If you don’t, I’mma jam this mic so deep in your eye socket you can hear yourself think. / Pic Props: The Fight Network)

By: Jason Moles

There are only three certainties in life: Death, taxes, and dreadful refereeing in mixed martial arts. With tax day behind us and a clean bill of health from the doc, the only thing left to avoid is blunders like those that occurred this past Saturday night at The Ultimate Fighter Season 17 Finale at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The offenses ranged from unrepentant fence-grabbing to controversial stoppages. (Surprisingly, we’re not talking about Steve Mazagatti this time.) Sadly, this might have been prevented if Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer would squash his beef with the godfather of MMA referees, “Big” John McCarthy.

What’s the beef about, you ask? To hear McCarthy tell it, Kizer got upset and took his ball home when UFC’s first head referee said the same thing the fans have been saying for years. Via MMAFighting:

“I thought he was putting some people in positions to judge fights that didn’t understand actually what the fighters were doing, and that’s wrong,” McCarthy explained. “I said that and I stood by it. He got mad, and from that, he has never licensed me again. And that’s okay. That’s his choice. I’m not going to cry about it and worry about it.”

McCarthy apologized publicly to Kizer and three years ago resubmitted his application for licensure. Not surprisingly, he hasn’t heard back, other than an ominous note stating that his “application will stay on file.”

That’s funny; Dana White told CagePotato the same thing about my press credentials. Fast forward to this Saturday, and instead of sitting on press row in sunny California for UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Melendez, I’ll be sitting in Ben’s living room with a bunch of boxercisers. [Ed. note: How. Dare. You.] Where was I? Oh yeah, most MMA refs are incompetent and terrible at their job.

Case in point: Maximo Blanco vs. Sam Sicilia

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Bjorn Rebney Speaks Out on Randy Couture, Eddie Alvarez, And the Real ‘Toughest Tournament in Sports’


(Red rover, red rover, we call Captain America on over! Pic Props: MMAFighting.com)

By Jason Moles

Between preparing to launch a new mixed martial arts reality television show on Spike TV, to selecting venues for 2014, Bjorn Rebney‘s time for small talk is sparse. But the Bellator MMA CEO always seems to have a moment to discuss his favorite topic — how much he loves running the second-largest MMA promotion in the world, and what the future holds in store.

Early Friday morning, just after the Bellator 87 post-fight press conference concluded at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in frigid Mount Pleasant, Michigan, I had the opportunity to speak with Rebney about some of the important topics that have developed in the past few weeks, and the impact they would have going forward for the ever-expanding fight promotion.

You could tell the man was tired by the look in his sleep-deprived eyes. Sitting on stage, and probably still laughing on the inside after having watched lightweight contender Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard shave his facial hair after losing a stipulation match to David “Caveman” Rickels not more than five minutes prior to our conversation (the clippings were still on the table next to him), the most powerful man in the building finally had a fleeting moment to collect his thoughts while resting for the first time that day…

On Randy Couture Signing with Spike TV/Bellator:

“Randy’s a great addition to the team and is known to fans everywhere. We’re excited for the role he’ll play in helping Bellator reach the next level. I know you and the other media want more info than that, but wait until Tuesday [February 5th] — that’s when we’re holding the big press conference and that’s when you’ll have all the details of what’s going on. That’s when all the questions will be answered.”

On the Controversial Stoppages Earlier in the Night:

“I have an unfair advantage; we’ve got probably the best sound team in all of MMA production. What I’m able to do is, when there’s any kind of controversial stoppage, I can go back into the truck, super slo-mo things and listen to things. I can hear the things the fighters say because our sound design inside the cage is so spectacular. You can literally hear what the fighter’s saying and what the referee is saying — you can hear everything. I think they were great stoppages. I think Dan [Mirgliotta] did an amazing job and when you see it in slow motion, for example on the knee lock, you hear him scream and then see his head go back and ultimately see one tap. Now it’s a super soft tap, but you see it. Inside the truck, in super slo-mo, you can hear the screaming and see his head go back and that’s a verbal submission. According to the Unified Rules, when your head goes back and you scream out — it’s over whether you tap or you don’t tap. But I thought he did a great job.”

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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.

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Volcanic Ash Gives Ryan Thomas Second Shot at Bellator Welterweight Tourney


(The choke in question goes down around 2:40.)

Ben Askren‘s technical submission win over UFC vet Ryan Thomas at Bellator XIV drew some controversy last week, as referee Dave Smith called a halt to the welterweight quarterfinal when it appeared that Thomas had been put out by a guillotine choke — then caught an earful from Thomas who didn’t seem to be unconscious after all. In the ref’s defense, when a guy is caught in a nasty choke and isn’t moving his arms and legs around, and isn’t responding to your questions, you have to assume that he might be sleeping. But regardless of what would have happened if the fight was allowed to continue, Ryan Thomas was bounced out of Bellator’s 170-pound tournament just as quickly as he arrived.

And this Thursday, he’ll get a chance to redeem himself. Bellator sent out a press release last night announcing that due to the apocalyptic ash cloud floating above Europe, welterweight GP participant "Judo" Jim Wallhead will be unable to travel from England to the Bellator XV show in Uncasville, Connecticut. Said Bjorn Rebney

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