Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the MMA gods figure out how to surprise you in a major way.
Anyone who’s ever watched MMA knows something along the lines of, “Fighter, are you ready? Fighter, are you ready? Let’s get it on!” is common practice to commence the round.
In this case, Amanbaev (7-1) and Dzhabrailov (4-2) took matters into their own hands. After all the cornermen were rushed out to clear the cage for the start of Round 3, something on the ground caught the referee’s attention. Instead of starting the round, the official strolled over to pick up an item off the canvas.
Rather than wait for the official, the two fighters started the round on their own. A touch of gloves and they were off. With the cage door still open and the referee not paying attention, Amanbaev floored Dzhabrailov with a vicious combination.
Once he realized what was happening, the referee finally rushed in. But the damage was already done. In what has to be one of the most unusual circumstances in MMA history, the fight was declared a no contest.
Check this out (via Twitter):
I’m somewhat conflicted, but I think the referee ultimately got it right. On one hand, both fighters involved engaged in the fight. They agreed to it. There was no confusion between the fighters as to their start. They were going, whether the referee was ready or not.
On the flip side, however, you can’t just have fighters officiate their own bouts. If not a no contest, what would it have been declared? A TKO due to punches at 0:00 of Round 3? Nah, we can’t do that.
So yeah, MMA can be imperfect madness. Sometimes things play out without a perfect answer. And that’s part of the reason I love it. In the end, hopefully the wrongs can be righted if the promotion decides to run this one back.
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