MMA referees have been a hot topic in the world of mixed martial arts since its inception. Referees have craved their niche into MMA’s culture from bad calls, bizarre actions, and late stoppages. In the newest mess-up, a referee made an unusually late stoppage at EFC 88.
The EFC 88 card took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. EFC, also known as the Extreme Fighting Championship, is one of the world’s leading Mixed Martial Arts organizations. For those unaware of its global impact, the promotion is available in over 600 million homes worldwide.
Unfortunately, the card saw five different fights be canceled for various reasons, removing them from the card. Nonetheless, the preliminary portion of the card carried on with one argument.
EFC Referee Lets Choke Happen Too Long
The prelims showed Julio Plaatjies take on Teboho Ntene in an opening flyweight bout. The fight was fast-paced and full of action. At least for the two minutes that the bout lasted.
Plaatjies was able to slap on a rear-naked choke, which earned him a submission victory. However, the choices made by the referee of the fight were highly questionable to the point where fans believe their license to work should either be suspended or lost.
— Streetfight Banned-cho (@streetfitebncho) August 14, 2021
In the video, Julio was in complete control of Teboho until he ultimately choked him out. Sadly, Ntene was out cold well before the fight was stopped. The referee let the choke be sunk in for at least an extra 20 to 30 seconds.
Bad Referee Mistakes
Sadly, situations happen like this frequently in lower levels of MMA. Sometimes they even occur with the most elite referees in mixed martial arts in the most significant promotions, such as Bellator and the UFC.
Refs such as Mario Yamasaki will hope they right their wrongs and positively change the referee community. Mario hasn’t reffed professionally since UFC Fight Night 125.
Hopefully, referees will learn from their mistakes to prevent injuries or even deaths in the sport.