by Matt Lo Cascio
NFL fans piss and moan about play-calling from offensive coordinators and decisions made by their team’s quarterbacks. MMA fans have their own weekly gripes: judges’ scorecards and referee stoppages.
Fans expressed displeasure about the stoppage in the Josh Barnett/Frank Mir fight at UFC 164 on Saturday night, claiming that referee Rob Hinds ended the bout too soon.
“I am positive about the call and right on top of it when it happened. After reviewing the footage, I feel even better about it,” Hinds told Chicago’s MMA.
Mir crumbled to the ground after a Barnett knee, landed face down with arms out and no possible way of defending himself. As Barnett moved in for the kill, Hinds stepped in and waved it off.
There are bad stoppages in MMA, but that wasn’t one of them.
Fans aren’t really pissed about it being a ‘bad’ stoppage. They’re pissed that they didn’t get to see Barnett bloody and batter Mir into unconsciousness. Understandable, but don’t take that out on Hinds, an excellent ref and ambassador for the sport, who has judged or reffed over 5,000 MMA fights. 5,000. He knows what he’s doing.
I read one fan comment that is Mir’s ‘thing,’ to play possum and then get to guard. Frank Mir wasn’t getting to guard with Josh Barnett ready to take his back. The only place Mir was getting to was a hospital if that fight continued.
The referee is responsible for the safety of the fighters. Mir can protest that he thought it was a quick stoppage, but that is just saving face. He knows it was the right call and it saved him a beating — and possible injury — from Barnett.
Fans can discuss and debate judges’ scorecards and referee stoppages. It’s part of the fun of being a fan. But in this instance, there’s really nothing to debate — the referee did his job.