There’s no denying after watching all the replays that Fabricio Werdum checkmated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with an armbar. But a question on a lot of people’s minds right after the fight stopped was whether Big Nog tapped out or the ref stepped in before we were left with another visual of Nogueira staring at a broken limb pointing in the wrong direction.
A few minutes after the stoppage, Jon Anik said the finish was ruled a ‘verbal submission’, but was that Nog actually verbally submitting or was that the ref taking Nog’s grunts of pain as a sign of submission? That does happens fairly regularly in the MMA world, and a good ref will often step in before shit gets real and a limb breaks backwards. Considering Nog has a history of picking the less sane choice when the ol tap or snap dichotomy comes up, I think we should probably be thanking Mario Yamasaki for saving Nog from another several months worth of rehab.
There should probably be a more accurate name for that kind of stoppage, but I guess “Ref ended the insanity because fighter is a stubborn bastard” doesn’t roll off the tongue as snappily.