In recent weeks, there has been clear evidence that something needs to happen to the officiating in mixed martial arts. When I say “officiating”, I do not limit that to just referees or judges. The month of December has seen things happen that lead us to question the judges, referees, and athletic commissions.
Chael Sonnen met with the California State Athletic Commission on December 2nd to appeal his $2,500 fine and 1 year suspension from competing in California. While the hour and a half hearing came to a close with Sonnen’s supension being shortened to 6 months, the board had a bigger problem on their hands: The State Athletic Commission doesn’t even know its own rules. Many times during the meeting, the board looked confused and seemed as though they were looking to each other for answers. This continues to hurt the professionalism that mixed martial arts has been seeking to attain for so long.
Also on the 2nd of December, Tachi Palace Fights 7: Deck the Halls streamed live from MMAjunkie.com and the fights did not disappoint. Great wins from Micah Miller, John Alessio, and Jussier da Silva were pushed to the side as a very odd situation took place in the first round of a Seth Baczynski and Tim McKenzie fight occured. During the first round, McKenzie locked Baczynski in an arm bar that seemed to have broken Baczynski’s arm. As McKenzie wrenched the arm, he stopped and let go of Baczynski for a brief moment and brought his hands up to his own chest. Baczynski then pounded away on McKenzie with vicious elbows signaling a referee stoppage win for him. Most observers were confused as to why the arm bar was let go of. A recent Youtube video shows that Baczynski tapped out on McKenzie’s chest and that is why the armbar was released.
The last controversial thing took place at The Ultimate Fighter finale when Nam Phan lost a split decision win to Leonard Garcia in the 1st 145 lb fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Nam Phan clearly won at least 2 rounds of the fight, hitting Garcia left and right with combos and body shots. When the decision was announced that Garcia won, EVERYONE in the arena was surprised….even Garcia and his coaching staff. Joe Rogan then went on to call the judges “incompetent morons” and drilled the Nevada State Athletic Commission throughout the evening.
MMA needs to clean up its act. All of these controversial issues do nothing but tear the sport down and feed the stereotype of it not being professional.
Make sure you check out our Spotlight section that features Reno fighter, Jerel Clark. Clark is currently 5-0 as a pro and will be trying out for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
This weekend also saw the Rick Collup’s Ultimate Reno Combat host its 19th event. Due to the distance, Nor-Cal MMA was unable to make it. But we did find an article online that listed results from the fights.
Great work to all the fighters!!!
The following is from Mike Searson, who writes for the Reno Examiner:
“Reno, Nevada – The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino played host last night to Ultimate Reno Combat 19: Night of Champions. Local MMA promoter, Rick Collup brought eleven MMA Cage Fights back to Reno for one of the greatest Fight Cards seen this year.