Gabe Killian’s Answer to Questionable Referee Stoppages

BedfordThere are many questionable stoppages in the world of mixed martial arts today and they are far more common than one would expect. It is one of several areas of the sport that needs to be improved, but instead seems to only go ignored. I have a solution. For example – UFC Bantamweights Johnny Bedford and Cody Gibson were set to square off inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 44 in Bedford’s backyard of San Antonio. Half a minute into the scrap, Gibson landed a shot that dropped Bedford, and the referee immediately threw himself into the middle of the action. After a brief moment of what appeared to be uncertainty, he waived his hands and declared it a TKO, much to Bedford’s dismay. The crowd booed, Bedford went crazy and it seemed obvious the referee wasn’t completely certain of his decision. In a hypothetically scenario with the same situation – Gibson scores the knockdown, the referee jumps in the middle of the action and halts the fight, though feels maybe 80% certain of his decision. He is not 100% sure he has made the right call, so in my opinion, what he should do is bring in the head of the athletic commission, the doctor, the president (in this case, Dana White) and the match-maker. First, the doctor will check Bedford and make him take physical and verbal tests, while the referee, head of the athletic commission, president and match-maker all watch multiple replays of the action in all angles on the big screen. The doctor would then advise the group, and after receiving everybody’s input, the referee will ultimately make a decision. He will either – A) Feel confident that he made the right call and stand by his decision, awarding Gibson the first round TKO victory. or B) Decide he made a mistake and that the fight should continue, and to make it fair for both fighters, he should deduct one point from Bedford (which is a lot better than a certain defeat) and put the fighters in the position which the fight was stopped. There could be two possible downsides to this that I could think of. There could be multiple questionable stoppages in a single fight, or the fighter who scored the knockdown could end up losing, and as a result, be bitter about the final outcome. Neither scenario would be pleasant, but I think those cases would be far more rare than what we have now with questionable stoppages, which are not so rare at all. MMA promotions, especially the UFC need to make more improvements to move the sport forward and further legitimize it. I think this would be a solid solution to what I consider a serious problem in the sport. What are your thoughts? Leave comments below.

Written by Gabe Killian

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