Texas Appears Indifferent to Neglectful MMA Bout Stoppage

In the near 30 year history of modern Mixed Martial Arts last night may have given the sport the most neglectful late stoppage involving a grappling exchange. The headlining bout for Fury FC 76 ended in submission via armbar. It took place in San Antonio, Texas.

Gianni Vasquez was strangled unconscious in a triangle. The referee failed to recognize this. A good 20 seconds elapsed. Opponent Edgar Chairez moved on from the choke and armbarred his unconscious opponent. Vasquez failed to tap in anything resembling a prompt fashion because he was fading in and out of consciousness. He eventually recovered enough cognition to realize his arm was being snapped and tapped. The footage speaks for itself:

Vasquez’s corner, Colin Oyama, took to social media and noted the late stoppage might have led to ‘possible fractures in his elbow joint’ for Vasquez. Perhaps more damning he claims he asked the Inspector working his corner to stop the bout and the Inspector refused to act.

Fury FC released the following statement:

It is the referee’s job to protect the fighter when the fighter cannot protect him or herself. In last night’s main event, the referee failed to do this. While the job of a referee is one of the hardest to do in this sport, the need for proper and continued training would help to alleviate things like this incident.

We do not hire, train or select refs for our shows, but we would be more than willing to lead a revamp and overhaul of the reffing and judging selection and training process.

I reached out to the Texas commission for comment. They replied in a seemingly indifferent tone seeking to put some blame on the promoter and not noting anything to give confidence that measures will be taken to address this situation internally.

Texas makes it a foul for a corner to throw in the towel. A terrible rule.

Texas also has “deregulated” the licencing of seconds leading to no quality control over how this last line of defence could help stop a bout where officials are asleep at the switch.

Texas regulations tell the referee to keep contest safety as the “primary concern” and to stop a bout in the below 4 circumstances

To turn this negative into a teachable moment Texas should

  1. Remove the foul for corners throwing in a towel
  2. Require corners to be licensed and provide instruction on how/when they should throw the towel
  3. Do more than mere lip service and actually review the licences and actions of anyone who could have helped stop this unfortunate result.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s