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Tuesday, 17 November 2015 21:03

Garreth McLellan feels the MMA Referee Stoppage Was "Slow"

McLelland vs BushIn his fight against Bubba Bush at UFC Fight Night 76, Garreth McLellan feels the MMA Referee Stoppage Was "Slow" on his TKO (technical knock out) at UFC Fight Night 76. And as usual, social media went crazy and criticized the stoppage as coming too late, saying that Bubba Bush, obviously worn out and barely able to hang on, and was forced to suffer a continued unnecessary beating, while Michalak looked on, while McLellan repeatedly punched Bush in the head from the mount position.

The problem is three fold:

  1. 1-McLellan continued beating Bush, because, as we all know, you don't stop the fight until the ref tells you to;
  2. 2-Michalak was most likely giving Bush time to defend and make it to the end of the round, as there were virtually seconds left in the round; and
  3. 3-If Michalak had stopped the fight earlier, then people would be complaining he didn't give Bush time to recover, and that he stopped the fight too early, with just a few seconds left on the clock.

The thing is, keyboard warriors aside, there are 3 people in the ring: two fighters, and the ref. The ref is a lot closer than anyone out in the audience, and closer still than the fans watching through a camera lens at home. S/He can see if a fighter's defending, if his eyes are rolling, and if s/he's gone limp a lot faster than everyone else. The ref also needs to consider the fighters: are they pro's or ammy's? Are they defending or just covering up?

And all that with only seconds to decide...

Truth is, being an MMA referee isn't easy, and there's no way your call is going to always be 100%, unless the call is obvious. All you can do is do the best you can, with what you see in front of you.

What do you think...was this stoppage made on time, late, or early?

Photo courtesy of SportsJoe.ie.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 November 2015 21:49

Cage Fighting for Kids - Yes or No?


According to an article on WTSP.com, Concerns Arise as Younger Kids start MMA, "Children's mixed-martial arts fighting is becoming an increasing popular sport for children in the Bay area. Right now, it's not regulated by the state of Florida. In fact, just recently, California became the first state to sanction kids' cage fighting."

At a local MMA school, Gracie Parents and Children MMA, owner Cris Rodriguez says kids are MMA fighters in training, but they are training and learning the same techniques as adult fighters - but without the blood. "Our kids are learning the same punches and take-downs that professional mix martial artists are fighting. The difference comes in the level of control that we allow them to perform at; and "We make sure our kids have headgear. They're fully covered, all of our referees are certified referees. As long as the parameters are set, and everyone knows what's expected, I don't see a problem with kids doing Sport MMA in a tournament scene at all."

One of the parents interviewed for the article said the benefits of putting his son in the class includes "Positive attitude, self-confidence, he's not afraid of kids his age, nobody bullies him."

According to the article, "Local coaches, kids and parents are closely watching what's happening in California. The first regulated kids' cage fight was recently held in Sacramento after the State Athletic Commission shut down the sport last year." In fact, in the video below, you'll see Bas Ruten and Randy Couture are part of the show! 

Andy Foster with the California Athletic Commission said: "We tried to solve a problem and make something we think was dangerous safer."

Proponents of the sport say it's safe, because kids can't take a hit to the head, must wear protective gear, and there needs to be a doctor and ambulance at the competitions.

This is a tough call...kids play baseball, football, basketball, soccer, ice hockey, etc., just like adults, and all of those sports have been adjusted, based on an athlete's age and ability. Just like in MMA for adults, or any one of the myriad of other sports enjoyed by children and youth, would children's MMA be more accepted, if there was a standard set of rules?

No - at least not according to 10 News child psychologist Mary Harris: "As a mom, I would not want my children participating in the fighting," she says.  However, Ms. Harris does say she believes it depends if an individual child can handle an aggressive sport and have the discipline not to use the learned skills outside of class or competition: "I wouldn't want them to think that's how you can handle things when you feel threatened outside in the real world."

Additionally, Harris says unlike other sports, a child can feel physically defeated. "It could be damaging to their self-esteem when their whole idea of being in the sport was to improve their self-confidence and self-esteem," says Harris.

Cage Fighting for Kids - Yes or No?

Personally, I think it's okay for kids to train in one or more of the martial arts systems that make up MMA. But training to FIGHT? In a competition? I don't like it. Stay in martials; learn about self-defense, Bushido, respect (for others and for one's self), and disclipline. But train to fight in the ring at 3 years of age? I don't think so...

What do you think? No big deal? Terrible idea? Are we teaching our kids that fighting is the answer, or just how to defend themselves from bullies? Is MMA for kids okay if there are rules protecting youth participants? Or? Please comment below, and be sure to Vote on the Poll as well - I want to hear from you! In fact, I'll use the information you provide as data for a future article!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 01:06

Christophe Walravens vs. Bernardo Mikixi at EFC Africa 28 courtesy of mmamania.comMMA Fighter Dies at EFC Africa 28

When you fight in the ring, your life, literally, is in the hands of the referee. Being an MMA referee is a huge responsibility, and not one that should be taken lightly. It's for this reason that we at ELITE MMA Referees feel only experienced martial artists should be certified as MMA ref's, and those ref's should be properly trained!

Unfortunately, MMA Referee Wiekus Swart, did not seem to know that hitting to the back of an opponent's head, let alone using hammer fists,is considered ILLEGAL and a great, big NO-NO in MMA. So while Christophe Walravens was delivering hammer fist after hammer fist to his dazed and defenseless opponent, Bernardo Mikixi, Swart just stood and watched.  It was only when Mikixi finally managed to break away, turn over onto his back, wave away his opponent and verbally submit, that Swart called the fight. At one point, even Walravens turned to the ref in exasperation, as if to say "Well - are you going to stop this fight or what?"

Sadly - Bernardo Mikixi died from head trauma.

In one month, fights at EFC Africa ended in the deaths of two combatants; meaning they have single-handedly increased the number of MMA-related deaths worldwide by 100%. And not only did NOT acknowledge there was not a problem, but they thanked "all involved for an exceptional event", passed out performance bonuses to the fighters in the "epic bout" as they called it, and did not even mention the incident during the post-fight news conference.

Granted, if there is a Athletic Commission in Africa that is overseeing the training and Certification of officials, then they need to take a cold, hard look at their policies for approving referees. If, as it's done in many other countries, promotions hire their own ref's to officiate MMA fights, then EFC Africa needs to make some changes - and fast.  

Especially when one considers another one of their fighters died as a result of injuries sustained in the ring, just a couple of weeks before! According to Scott Harris, in his article on Bleacher Report: "On Thursday, EFC Africa chose to honor Booto Guylain by having its fighters wear those armbands. Guylain passed away March 5 because of injuries he suffered in the cage at EFC Africa 27, the event that directly preceded Thursday's EFC 28."

Jonathan Snowden, in his tweet to @SnideMMAsa, suggested: "First step has to be making sure that ref never steps in a cage again. Then huge emphasis on education and training for others."

We agree. And we'd love the opportunity to work with the African Athletic Commission, and help train their MMA Referees and Judges on the Rules, Regulations and background on legal and illegal techniques during an MMA fight. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !

To read more of Harris' article, please go here: After Fighter Death and Horrendous Stoppage, EFC Africa Should Reexamine Itself.


UFC 169's Referee and Judging Assignments for top three fights


MMA Junkie.com is reporting that the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) has assigned the following Referees and Judges to the top three fights at UFC 169:

Referee Herb Dean: Bantamweight title bout between champ Renan Barao (31-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and challenger Urijah Faber (30-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Cardo Urso, Eric Colon and retired UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida will serve as judges.

Referee Keith Peterson: Co-main event title bout between featherweight champ Jose Aldo (23-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and challenger Ricardo Lamas (13-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC). Urso, Eric Colon and Ricardo Almeida will also judge this fight.

Referee Dan Miragliotta: Featured main-card bout between UFC heavyweights Alistair Overeem (36-13 MMA, 1-2 UFC) and Frank Mir (16-8 MMA, 14-8 UFC). Michelle Agustin, Tony Tamburrino and Dave Tirelli will serve as judges.

Please read the entire article here.


Female MMA Referee out of West Michigan

She's been doing it for two years now...ref'ing MMA fights that is! We love hearing about MMA referees getting in the limelight, and there's nothing better than hearing about another female MMA referee.


Jamie Lange is a massage therapist and certified mixed-martial arts referee. She works at Active Life chiropractic in Grand Rapids and has been officiating MMA fights for two years. She's a masseuse by day, but ref's MMA fights on the weekends "as a form of stress relief."


"When I say 'fight' it's me and them.  It's honest and I see everything."


Thank you to WZZM Photojournalist Aaron Russman, who produced this video profile of Lange.

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