An MMA referee has been suspended after he shockingly let a seemingly unconscious fighter absorb a prolonged beating.
This deeply disturbing video is taken from a Copa Thunder de MMA Amador event held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A 198-pound fight between Jessian Lucas and Michael Douglas (not the actor) looked to be over right at the start when Lucas landed a vicious high kick, sending Douglas crashing.
As the modified amateur rules meant head strikes to a grounded opponent were off limits, the far taller Lucas stood off and waited for referee Kleber Lopes to stop the fight. Kleber had other ideas.
In bizarre scenes, the referee stood back and essentially forced Lucas to go in for the finish.
A clearly dazed and defenceless Douglas ate a few head shots before the referee stepped in... only to call for a timeout and wait for the semi-conscious fighter to stagger to his feet. Incredibly, he then waved the fight back on.
For what reason? Who on earth knows. But a few more punches to the noggin from Lucas saw Douglas back down on the mat and the referee finally wave it off.
MMA fans understandably expressed their dismay at the dangerously prolonged beating. Several pointed out the bout could have been stopped twice before it belatedly was, with referee Lopes understandably coming in for heavy criticism.
It's since emerged that Lopes was himself an amateur, intern referee - and that he has been suspended pending further training. So highly doubtful we'll see him in the UFC any time soon.
A statement from the National Athletic Commission of MMA (CANMMA) read: "At 11 seconds of the first round, Michael was knocked out by a high kick to the head and the referee made his first mistake, not interrupting the fight.
"He committed the second mistake by allowing the fight to continue with the athlete unconscious.
:flushed: Yikes. This looks like MMA with Lethwei rules.- Clark Thunder 克拉克 雷霆 (@BurnerCollison) November 17, 2020
"We apologise to the athletes, teams, MMA fans and Thunder Fight for the mistakes committed due to lack of experience of the professionals."
Professionals may be over-selling it a bit and we're not sure how much training you need to see that Michael Douglas was visibly in no position to fight on. Here's hoping no permanent damage was done to a man who essentially got knocked out three times in one fight.
Featured image credit: Copa Thunder de MMA Amador/Twitter
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