Early fight footage of Chute Boxe fighter Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves is not flattering: Falcao had to be pulled off a downed opponent like it was personal. And against Gerald Harris on Saturday, Falcao was scolded by the referee for holding a choke at the bell in the first round. Maybe larger promotions should consider the conduct of fighters as heavily as they do their skills. A Falcao meltdown would not play well on TV.
Even before everyone realized that the timekeeper had screwed Falcao out of a submission win, the choke hold-on was still understandable since Harris was making some very tappy hand motions. Here’s Dana White on the situation:
“There were a couple of times there where Gerald looked like he was tapping,” White said. “When guys get in those chokes and they do that half-tap thing, you hold that choke until the ref pulls you off or until the guy is out.
“I don’t think he held the choke too long. We’ve seen cases in the past where the choke is definitely being held too long. This kid was in a nasty scrap, and Gerald Harris was doing these weird grabbing-the-hand motions. We were sitting there cageside going, ‘Did he just tap?’ Then you have to wait for the replay to see if they tap.”
Falcao himself takes it several steps further, saying Harris actually tapped three times:
“He tapped out in three different occasions, hiding it. It was a new thing for me, it was the first time I got three wins on the same bout. On the first round, he tapped out the first time when he was on the four points position, then he tapped out again in the end of the first round, when I got him on the rear naked choke with his body turned up, and on the third round he tapped out again on a rear naked choke.”
There’s no video evidence of anything past the near tap in the first round to back this up, but who knows. Maybe the UFC counted three taps as three losses and that’s why Harris is gone. Regardless, fake taps don’t really explain why Falcao actually cinched his choke tighter at the horn and had to be yelled at by the ref before he let go. And that, combined with some seriously crazy behavior in prior fights, is enough to put Falcao on my potential psycho watch list.