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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

“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.

Cagepotato Comments

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easy11019- April 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm
That was a nice japanese necktie. I doesn't really matter if he was unconscious or not because he was going to be in the near future, he should thank the ref for saving him from being choked out on TV
SofaKingNyce- April 20, 2010 at 9:59 am
Honestly i don't think the ref even asked for a "sign"..
Obviously it's a cover up for his dumb mistake..
HeadsWillRoll- April 20, 2010 at 9:35 am
Bad call, and even Gaia knows it. Next time Thomas really gets choked out.
ReX13- April 20, 2010 at 9:18 am
Surely, Iceland has its own Norse god of volcanos and vengeance. Her name will be fifteen syllables long and totally unpronouncable to any american tongue, but her fury lies dormant for centuries, and rituals to curry her favor are easily found in dusty-cool Icelandic libraries.

Thomas obviously prepared himself with icy brennivín, rubbed himself with salt and shark oil, and slaughtered a Spælsau with an iron blade while playing a Sigur Ros CD backwards. Offering the carcass to She Who Burns Beneath, Thomas spoke his desire and sealed his promise with three drops of blood. That The Goddess of Maleficence and Magma was able to start the eruption a couple of days prior to Thomas' loss only demonstrates her power--and her hunger.
superflat- April 20, 2010 at 8:51 am
You know, Yaweh (Judeo-Christian god) began as a volcano god. Dude must have some serious tats.
ReX13- April 20, 2010 at 7:05 am
We've agreed on this once--the ref did his job to the best of his ability. I'm not calling him a Mazzagatti.

Upshot is this: Askren needs to work on that hybrid arm-in guillotine/Peruvian Necktie/whateverthefuck submission.
Contraband- April 20, 2010 at 6:58 am
If the ref is true to his word about asking for a sign agree 100% with the stoppage. But I watched that part like 5 times and couldnt understand anything being said, my computer speakers are fucked up. Did anyone else hear if the ref said said or is he covering his ass?
Robocop Didnt Tap- April 20, 2010 at 6:56 am
Volcanic eruption? I blame Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu for this.
GUI-uh-TEEN- April 20, 2010 at 6:45 am
I think we have a conspiracy going here... Ryan Thomas caused a volcanic eruption to get back in the tourney. Some people say they'll move mountains, Ryan Thomas will erupt volcanoes.

I saw both sides. I don't think Ryan was unconscious, but if he didn't want it stopped, he should have shown *some* sign of life when the ref asked him to.

As critical as everyone is being of the ref, if Thomas had suffered any major damage from not stopping the fight, we'd be calling for the ref's job.
ReX13- April 20, 2010 at 6:12 am
Well, Bellator needed a storyline--found one!

Richard Tucker>> He woke up pretty damn fast, then. It appeared **to me** that he was still conscious when the ref stepped in. I'm not saying he would have stayed that way and escaped, just saying he was still alive.
Richard Tucker- April 20, 2010 at 6:04 am
Yeah, real lucky...he's gonna get his ass kicked two weeks straight.

As for that "controversial" choke, the guy was out, and only woke up when Askren let it go.
eggy900- April 20, 2010 at 6:02 am
Gutted for Jim, he really deserved his place in Bellator
TheMadness- April 20, 2010 at 6:00 am
Talk about lucky. If I were this guy, I'd start worshipping Mother Earth, stat.