JKillah wrote:It's the ref's job to stop fights. Keep going unless you are absolutely positive or that you can clearly see the ref is calling for the end.
The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board has suspended UFC middleweight “Toquinho” Rousimar Palhares (11-2) of Brazil following his first-round heel hook submission of “Gorilla” Tomas Drwal (17-3-1) at UFC 111 in Newark last night.
But, as Drwal tapped feverishly and Palhares cranked the technique, Palhares only awaited referee Kevin Mulhall’s official stoppage of the fight before releasing the heel hook.
Drwal had slipped on the mat mid-kick before Palhares pounced and applied the submission lock to Drwal’s left leg just seconds into round one.
Drwal was also suspended pending X-rays of his knee and ankle.
Fighters.com disagrees with the NJSACB’s disciplinary suspension. Having watched thousands of fights, I know it’s not uncommon for a fighter to release a submission or prematurely end a punching barrage before the referee ends the fight. Often this gives the opponent on the receiving end a second wind. That’s why fighters are trained to fight until the referee stops you.
Drwal was obviously and vigorously submitting to Palhares, even screeching in pain. Palhares knew Drwal was tapping. But, Palhares correctly awaited Mulhall’s official stoppage before releasing the hold.
The image of Drwal’s knee twisting gruesomely as he pleaded with Palhares to release the lock is unfortunate for mixed martial arts as the sport legitimizes itself. But, if anyone is to blame for that image lasting too long, it’s referee Kevin Mulhall. The five or six seconds Palhares held the heel hook as Drwal tapped was the same five or six seconds Mulhall watched Drwal tap before stopping the fight. Palhares’s job in the Octagon is to fight. Mulhall’s job is to stop fights. So, if any disciplinary action is deserved on this occasion, it should be due to Mulhall’s late stoppage.
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