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Tag: referee stoppage

GIF of the Day: Quite Possibly the Most Horrific Stoppage in the History of Officiated Fighting


(Props: @GrabakaHitman via r/MMA)

Words cannot even begin to describe how abhorrent and borderline criminal referee Wiekus Swart’s performance was at yesterday’s EFC Africa 28 event. To quote Gene Wilder, Wiekus Smart is a “stupid, ignorant son of a bitch, dumb bastard” who should have his license revoked and be barred from attending an MMA event, watching an MMA event, or even listening to an MMA-themed podcast until he is shed of this mortal coil.

Let’s take a step back. About three weeks back, specifically, when EFC Africa fighter Booto Guylain died as a result of head injuries he suffered during a TKO loss to Keron Davies. It was a devastating moment for the tightly-knit EFC community, and one that EFC Africa President Cairo Howarth dubbed “a huge loss to the sport and to all who know him.”

It was also a tragedy placed at the forefront of EFC 28 yesterday, with all of the evening’s competitors donning a black armband to honor Guylain in a touching, if frightening reminder of how dangerous a sport MMA can be. Yet at this very same event, referee Swart allowed this catastrophe of common sense and human judgement to take place during a fight between Christophe Walravens and Bernado Mikixi.

How many illegal shots to the back of the head did you count after Walravens dropped Mikixi? 10? 12? How many seconds did you count between Walravens pleading with Swart to end the fight and Swart’s intervention?

I’ve never said that the job of an MMA referee was an easy one, nor have I ever claimed that I could do it better than those who do. But this is unforgivable. Allowing this man to continue refereeing MMA fights would be akin to allowing Denzel Washington’s character in Flight to continue flying planes.

In an era of MMA where referees are still only being held accountable for their actions on message boards and blogs, a precedence needs to be set that the job of protecting two trained fighters from killing one another is not one to be taken lightly, nor is it one that should be granted to any asshole with $600 and 3 days of spare time. An example needs to be made. Wiekus Swart is that example.

-J. Jones

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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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Quote of the Day: Josh Rosenthal Was “Slow on the Trigger” During Munoz/Weidman


(A replay of the Munoz/Weidman ending in all its gory glory for those of you who missed it.) 

Right before he kinda sorta announced his pending retirement from the sport during the UFC on FOUEL TV post-fight show, Stephan Bonnar made the audacious claim that referee Josh Rosenthal should be fined and/or suspended for his late stoppage during the Mark Munoz/Chris Weidman fight. After Weidman landed some 12 or 13 unanswered shots on a helpless Munoz, I briefly thought that we were witnessing the first death in the promotion’s history, and my immediate reaction was almost that of agreement. Almost. 

Because, although it is hard to deny that Rosenthal dropped the ball Wednesday night, the stoppage was likely considered even worse because it was a revered official like Rosenthal who made it. This wasn’t Steve Mazzagati calling an eye poke a TKO or Kim Winslow letting Jan Finney return from the dead only to be killed once more. This was Josh freakin’ Rosenthal, a man who had not only made our top five referees list a couple years ago, but had easily climbed up it a few spots in the time since. This was a man who had, as GritandMettle’s Darren Jensen put it, “reffed Shogun vs Hendo perfectly” — the same goes for his excellent job in the first round of Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin’s UFC 116 heavyweight title fight. What we’re saying is, this isn’t an everyday occurrence for the guy. Hell, can anyone even remember an instance in recent memory that Rosenthal has even come close to screwing up (Faber/Mizugaki maybe)?

In retrospect, Bonnar’s assessment was a little harsh, but Rosenthal was still willing to admit that he shit the bed, so to speak, when he appeared on SiriusXM’s “Tapout Radio Show”.

Check out a few snippets from the interview after the jump.

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Exclusive: Referee Kim Winslow Discusses Critics, Sexism, Homemade Bread, and Her Worst Cage Experience

By Jason Moles

After making history in June 2009 as the first female MMA referee to oversee a UFC fight, Kim Winslow drew controversy earlier this month for her handling of the Muhammad Lawal vs. Lorenz Larkin match at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine. Last week, CagePotato had the chance to chat with Winslow, who spoke to us about her life inside and outside of the cage, her pioneering role in MMA, and how she responds to criticism of her job performance. Read on for the full Q & A…

CagePotato: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Tell us a little bit about how you first were introduced to MMA, and when you knew you wanted to be an MMA referee.

Kim Winslow: I introduced myself to martial arts in 1992 by studying my first art form, Tae Kwon Do. I then saw the first UFC event in 1993 and was instantly enthralled. I had to watch every one of them and could hardly wait for the next one to come out. As the sport evolved so did my training in MMA, and I switched to more modern art forms and trained in Muay Thai, BJJ, kickboxing, boxing, grappling, street fighting, Krav Maga, some judo, and lately Capoeira for fun.

CP: What experience or training is required before a commission will license you?

 KW: Every state has different requirements and it is your responsibility to find out what they are and meet them when you apply. Refs are required to renew their license every year in each state, and in some states twice a year.

CP: Back in 2009 at the Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale, you made history by becoming the first woman to ever ref a fight in the UFC. How difficult was it to break into the industry and how does it feel to be a UFC pioneer?

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Sylvia Makes Obligatory Excuses for Abe Wagner Loss, Says He Fights Better When He’s Not Such a Fatty


(This mean machine needs to be covered with a protective layer of blubber. Otherwise it’s just too dangerous. PicProps: Tapped Out)

Just in case you were actually starting to feel kind of bad for Tim Sylvia, there are some marvelous comments from him out on Tuesday which should remind you why you never liked the guy in the first place. Of course, by “marvelous” we mean “the sadly typical ramblings of an obese man who refuses to take responsibility for his own fuck-ups.” Turn out, Sylvia came into his fight with Abe Wagner with a hurt knee, you guys. Now it might need surgery. Nonetheless, the former UFC champ says if referee Jason Herzog hadn’t prematurely stepped in to call the fight just 32-seconds into the first round he was about to jump up and whip Wagner’s ass, bum wheel and all. 

“It was stopped way too early…It was bullshit,” Sylvia tells Five Ounces of Pain about his loss at Titan Fighting Championships last weekend. “The sad part is the ref told the promoter and my corner he was sorry because he knew he made a mistake and stopped it a little early.”

We’ll get to Herzog in a minute. First, some Breaking News: In addition to making the above obligatory excuses for his defeat, Sylvia has decided he fights better when he doesn’t show up for bouts weighing 311-pounds and looking like his body might split open like a Johnsonville brat on a hot grill.  Damn it, if only he’d known that before the fight!

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