(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.
After the jump: The aforementioned lowlight reel of Warring’s Bellator 80 performance set to an oddly poignant soundtrack and the official complaint from Quieroz’s camp.
Since nobody likes to get right back to work after a four-day weekend, we figured we’d ease you back into your time-wasting routine with a few ridiculous MMA videos. First up, a three-second KO at an Evolution AMMA event that’s notable for what happens after the knockout. The losing fighter is so dazed that not only does he grab onto the referee in confusion, he manages to successfully score mount. Early stoppage, if you ask me.
After the jump: During a 2007 bout in Brazil, new UFC acquisition Maiquel Falcao continues to beat on his opponent long after the fight is stopped. Could this be a bad omen for his UFC career? (And where was that intensity at UFC 123?) Also, video of Bob Sapp‘s latest sad kickboxing match, Saturday night in Sweden, in which the Beast takes a dive at the absolute earliest opportunity.
Even 12 hours later, it’s difficult to fully grasp the ways in which Jorge Gurgel’s fight with KJ Noons turned into a terrible abortion at Saturday night’s Strikeforce: Houston show. Suffice it to say, a lot of things went horribly wrong and nearly everyone involved failed miserably to do their jobs.
As he almost always does, Gurgel came into the fight with the worst possible game plan, essentially guaranteeing defeat before the bout even started. Meanwhile, Noons crammed not one, but two blatantly illegal strikes into just over five minutes of fighting. For his part, referee Kerry Hatley seemed not to notice either of the infractions, then totally bungled one of the more obvious stoppage situations you’ll ever encounter in MMA. All the while the Strikeforce broadcast team reconfirmed for viewers its complete inability to adjust on the fly when even the slightest controversy rears its head.
(Nick Diaz vs. Thomas Denny @ EliteXC: Unfinished Business, 7/26/08)
With his trademark half-smirk during faceoffs and soft-spoken vibe, Josh Rosenthal brings some much-needed positive energy to the mean-muggin’ atmosphere of MMA. And though his stoppage in the first Chael Sonnen/Paulo Filho fight at WEC 31 drew controversy — in the eyes of Sonnen, at least — he’s one of those guys you rarely hear about because he just does his job in a quiet, dependable sort of way. Could 2009 be Rosenthal’s breakout year?
#4: Mario Yamasaki
(Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell 2 @ UFC 66, 12/30/06)
Mario Yamasaki fell into the referee gig when a UFC trip to Brazil (where Yamasaki was born) highlighted their need for another ref in addition to Big John McCarthy. Since he was a lifelong martial arts enthusiast and jiu-jitsu expert, Yamasaki was a good fit. His biggest problem as a ref might be that he looks a little too much like Steve Mazzagatti, and that can be a career-killer. The difference is that Yamasaki gives fighters a chance to recover, but also knows when to stop a bout (despite maybe one or two notable exceptions, depending on who you ask), as he did when he mercifully ended the second Tito Ortiz-Chuck Liddell fight – a decision he was criticized for by Ortiz, and no one else.