MMA referee Kleber Lopes has been suspended after he appeared to allow an amateur fighter to get knocked out twice during a fight in Brazil.
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Lopes was officiating a bout between Michael Douglas and Jesian Lucas during the Copa Thunder de MMA Amador event in Sao Paulo, when this happened:
Copa Thunder Fight de MMA Amador. Por que? pic.twitter.com/VFEydIQHj7
— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) November 16, 2020
Um, ref? Hello? Are you there? What the hell just happened? The guy was clearly not fit to continue after the first head kick knockout, and the ref not only allows him to get punched a few more times while on the mat, he also allows him to get back up to continue fighting… so that he gets knocked out again! How do you even watch a man get KO’d like that the first time and not react?
Poor guy looked like he was getting out of bed in the middle of the night to take a piss:
That’s definitely NOT the look of a conscious fighter who is able to defend himself, as we literally found out moments later.
Copa Thunder Vice-president Anderson Ulysses says:
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.
We apologise to the athletes, teams, MMA fans and Thunder Fight for the mistakes committed due to lack of experience of the professionals.
We inform that the referees that committed the mistakes were interns who were getting tested and had no experience as referees, but had undergone rule courses previously.
The referee will now go back on a training course and won’t be officiating for a while, which is probably for the best. Someone who is that horrible at refereeing could genuinely get a fighter killed. Nice head kick from Jesian Lucas though – credit where it’s due!
Oppositely, get a load of the best referee ever diving to catch a brutally knocked out fighter before his head hits the mat. That’s how it’s done!