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A Controversial Call

03-24-15. By JP Scarano, Exclusively for TheFightWorld.Com

A controversial call was made in a fight between Leandro Silva vs. Drew Dober in Brazil this past weekend. I have viewed the fight video several times and I think it shows clearly that the fight referee didn’t do his job well. After searching through a lot other web sites and viewing their fight photos I saw that this Ref was playing favorites with the hometown fighter and gave him an undeserved win. I have been saying for years that hometown judging has been a problem but when any MMA Promotion’s go to other countries the rules change and we see bad calls more and more often.

Leandro Silva vs. Drew Dober was a really good fight with good back and forth action which was great to see. Once we got into the second round we saw Silva pull guard and get a guillotine choke onto Dober. I admit it was a nice choke but it wasn’t fully in the right position and you could see Dober moving around as he tried to get out of the hold. This was right before the Ref stopped the fight. Dober was out also in side-mount and was fine to fight. This is where the controversy begins, fight fans. When you are  a referee you have a lot of things to do to make sure a fighter can fight, if they are unconscious from a choke, etc. The one thing that a Ref must be is non-biased and do what is right for both fighters. This Ref wasn’t any of that at all. I’ll bet your asking yourself what I mean by that statement so here is the answer. The Ref is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt who has been training and teaching Silva in BJJ and we have a photo of them together in their GI’s, hanging out. You read it right. Silva and the Ref are Student and Teacher which means that the Ref knew what Silva was doing the whole time and ended the fight too soon.

Here is what upset me:

  1. The commission won’t change the fight from a win for Silva to a no-contest.
  2. Silva accepts this win as if there was nothing wrong and said this, “I’m paid to fight, If the Ref thought he had to stop the fight, I have to accept it”. So in other words he got a free pass and an undeserved win courtesy of his coach/trainer/referee.
  3. Because the fight took place in Brazil, the commission won’t overturn the fight.

There are too many more problems here and I could go on and on about this. I will say this from my past experience as  a Referee/Judge in Boxing, Kickboxing, Martial Arts, and Mixed Martial Arts; if you have a student or have trained a fighter that you know, as a Ref/Judge you need to step away. You need to say “That is my student I cannot Ref/Judge” or “I have trained that fighter” and do what is right by stepping away so you don’t risk looking like you are playing favorites. This Ref has now put a damper on this sport and needs to be barred as a Ref for a while. If he is allowed to referee again I think he needs to identify all of his students/fighters to ensure they aren’t on the card he will be refereeing.

Obviously Dana White agrees with me about the call. He was quoted as saying,  “We’re gonna pay [Dober] his win money. It just sucks. Not only was he not in danger at that point, he was about to take the dominant position and could possibly do damage and win the fight.”

What do you fight fans think of all this ?

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