If you missed what happened last night at EFC28 you can read our live play by play. While I was not personally in attendance, we had our trusty reporter @OctoGreek and his many limbs covering the event live for you guys. So as always a big thank you to him and his masterful coverage! I had my first viewing of the full event from a comfortable Ster-Kinekor seat. As an event in its entirety it seemed really awesome and the future of MMA in South Africa seems bright. The level of fighters and their technical abilities are ever improving. However, there is one really big gripe I have and it isn’t even with the promotion itself.
As you can tell by the title, picture and GIF above. it is that of illegal blows. I am just using the Christope Walravens vs Bernardo Mkixi fight as an example, but there were quite a few of them last night. We also Vandam Mbuyi crack a big knee to the head of Brendan Groenwald while still with 3+ points of contact with the ground. Irshaad Sayed also managed to heel Leo Gloss in the groin while trying to secure his hooks for the Rear Naked Choke. Now I do not believe any of this was on purpose, it definitely helped them (except maybe Vandam) to victory.
But where my issue actually is with this is the lack of control the ref seems to be in control in these situations. With Sayed, they reset them awkwardly. With Walravens, he seemed to stop cause of a verbal submission from Bernardo, while the ref seems perplexed to what has happened. Does this mean we need stricter reffing policies and screening of refs? Should they have more experience on lower levels before being on big international promotions on live TV. If safety is first, then show it. Rather end a fight early, save the fighter’s career longevity and we can have a rematch if its warranted. Rather that than the converse and career ending damage or death surely?
Also, on a smaller note, how can the judging be so inconsistent for one judge to call it 30-27 and another to view the very same fight as the complete opposite and 27-30 for the other fighter?
Rant over. What do you think? How can we improve the quality of reffing and judging in South Africa? Bear in mind these are not unique problems to South Africa, but have been seeing it in every promotion world wide.