The third man in the cage. The referee in MMA has a lot of responsibilities, but at the very top of that list is fighter safety.
This is Mike Beltran. He’s a great referee. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the guy reffing the fight we’re about to watch.
Every fight fan hates seeing a fight stopped prematurely by a confused referee, but what we hate even more is seeing a fighter who suffers unnecessary damage.
Fighters are instructed to keep fighting until the referee stops the fight, so you can’t really blame their opponent. If you KO an opponent then walk off, only to have them regain consciousness as they hit the mat and get back up before the referee stops the fight, you’re going to have a bad time.
If you’ve been watching fights for a while, you’ve definitely seen plenty of examples of late stoppages in fights.
Things got off to a quick start…
It’s unnecessary damage that takes place after the fight should already be over, and nobody likes it. That’s why the ref’s most important job is to protect the fighters, because when they’re unconscious they can’t protect themselves and they’re counting on the refs to do their jobs.
This video in particular of Jungle Fight 88 looks like a clip from the 3 Stooges or something, it’s just a ridiculous slapstick display of MMA.
There’s a moment where the ref partly steps in like he’s going to stop this fight, but the guy on the ground manages to move a bit so the ref decides to change his mind and keep the action going? This is a weird one..
This ref is getting some heat online, how would you have handled this situation and at what moment would you have stopped the fight?
There’s no doubt that being a ref is a tough job. Think about how excited you get sitting at home watching a big MMA fight, now imaging actually being IN THERE WITH THEM. It’s intense and things probabally get crazy in those fast-paced moments, but that’s not really an excuse. Yes, it’s a tough job, but the stakes are so high. Those extra punches could be taking years off a guy’s life. This is serious business.