Ariel Helwani was fired up about the scary situation at Fury FC 76.
During the UFC San Antonio fight week, there was a regional show held on Friday by Fury Fighting Championship, a Texas-based promotion. Since media members and fans were in town, the event received more attention than usual. Everything was going smoothly until the main event.
Edgar Chairez locked in a triangle choke, leading to Gianni Vazquez going unconscious. Referee Frank Collazo was unaware that Vazquez was out, allowing the fight to continue for nearly 30 seconds. Chairez transitioned to an armbar and destroyed Vazquez’s arm before he woke up and tapped.
There was a lot of backlash toward Collazo for his incompetence in the moment. Helwani addressed the situation on The MMA Hour by saying:
“One of the most disgusting moments in the history of MMA. The guy on the ground is completely out and his arm is being twisted… The ref’s name is Frank Collazo, and I don’t wanna pour it on him, but how are you not seeing the guy on his back is completely out? This is disgusting. This is criminal. This is truly a travesty.”
Helwani continued by saying:
“You see that, I don’t know how you watch MMA again. If you’re scrolling through your timeline, you’re a casual fan, and you see that you’re like, ‘what the f*ck is this sport?’ Are we waiting for someone to die?”
Ridiculous scene at Fury FC. Edgar Cháirez puts Gianni Vazquez to sleep with a triangle, and the ref simply doesn't stop it. Cháirez ends up armbarring an unconscious Vazquez who wakes up in the submission. #Furyfc76 pic.twitter.com/AgcwI2i3ss
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 25, 2023
Watch Ariel Helwani discuss the Fury FC 76 incident below:
"This is CRIMINAL! Are we waiting for someone to DIE?!"
Ariel on the disturbing video from Fury FC @arielhelwani pic.twitter.com/9GEKGYs45v
— No Context Ariel Helwani (@NoContextAriel) March 27, 2023
Ariel Helwani demands the UFC takes action against Frank Collazo
The day after Fury FC 76, Frank Collazo was back in action. While still receiving backlash for his referee job, Collazo was assigned as a judge for Maycee Barber vs. Andrea Lee at UFC San Antonio. During the same episode of The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani continued his rant on Collazo by saying:
“Not only was this guy not suspended, not only was his license not revoked, he was freaking working the next night, a UFC [event]… Where’s the statement? Where’s the sanction? Where’s the accountability? Where’s the reprimanding?”
Although judges and referees are assigned by the state commissions, Helwani believes the UFC should receive some responsibility for Collazo being at the San Antonio event. He had this to say:
“Here’s the thing, the UFC, and Dana White, in particular, are gonna go up there and say that it’s all the commissions, they do it, and they are right. The commissions are the ones that are more often than not picking… We have seen the UFC say ‘we don’t want this guy working.’ Steve Mazzagatti, nowhere to be found after Dana White said we don’t want him working. We have also seen the influence that Zuffa and the UFC have on commissions. They can do what they want.”
During the UFC San Antonio post-event press conference, Dana White bashed Collazo for his actions in the Fury FC 76 main event. The Texas-based promotion has also released a statement about the severity of what happened. It’s unclear if anything else will come from the dangerous situation.