SFL – The referee was sleeping – Asha Roka /Sher-E-Punjab/ 1R guillotine (vs. Hanna Kamf /Bengaluru Tigers/ pic.twitter.com/wpJbSp0FsQ
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) February 17, 2017
Mixed martial arts officiating is an ever controversial topic. It seems that every week, we have a new reason to criticize the sport’s judges and referees for their blunders and missteps. The latest high-profile example of this fact occurred last weekend, in the main event of UFC 208, when Germaine de Randamie landed punches on Holly Holm after the bell on multiple occasions, and didn’t receive so much as a point deduction for these fouls. Refereeing controversies, of course, are not limited to the UFC’s Octagon. Officiating blunders occur far and wide, from the Octagon, to the Bellator MMA cage, to the cages of smaller promotions in distant corners of the world.
This week, for example, an official for India’s Super Fight League demonstrated some terrifying incompetence by letting a fighter hang on to a submission for so long that a cornerman was forced to throw in the towel, leap over to the cage, and save his fighter from danger.
This ugly moment, which can be viewed above thanks to Twitter user @Jolassanda, occurred in a fight between Asha Roka and Hanna Kampf. Late in the first round, Roka secures a tight guillotine choke which clearly has Kampf in trouble. From there, Kampf appears to lose consciousness, yet the dazed referee does not stop the fight. Unaware that her foe has lost consciousness, Roka continues to crank the guillotine, as the cage-side commentators begin to panic. Eventually, things get so dire that one of Kampf’s cornermen is forced to leap over the cage to intervene and spare his fighter from harm.
Needless to say, this referee should not be officiating fights anymore after this flagrant misstep. Though we’re all human, and we all make mistakes, mistakes of this scale in the cage can have potentially disastrous implications.
Luckily, Kampf appears to have been ok, as she is reported to have recovered several minutes after this terrifying moment.
Do you think this referee should be fired?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/17/2017.