(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:
“While I am very disappointed that Jim won’t be able to make it to the U.S. this week, at least some good comes out of this situation as Ryan will get the opportunity to step back into our welterweight tournament. After the fight last Thursday, I promised Ryan that he would be our first alternate for the tournament and, based on a natural disaster, his opportunity came much sooner than anyone would have guessed. Ryan and Ben Askren were locked in a tough fight last week that was ended, somewhat controversially, by the referee. While I respect that decision, I am pleased that this opportunity has presented itself for Ryan.”
Thomas will re-enter the tournament quarterfinals against Jacob "Tick Tock" McClintock, an undefeated Arizona Combat Sports product who has won all six of his professional fights by first-round stoppage.