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Should the ref have stopped Tate vs Rousey?

Nick Diaz thinks yes:

So does MMA Junkie’s Dr Benjamin:

I took issue via Twitter (@drjcbenjamin) with the lack of intervention by the referee prior to the injury to Tate’s elbow. That was the second episode in the fight that a deep and prolonged joint lock had been applied to Tate’s left elbow. As it was agonizingly and slowly hyper-extending, the referee watched and decided not to issue a stern verbal warning to “immediately improve your position, or I’ll stop this fight!”

Well, we all viewed the aftermath.

Like it or not, the referee has a responsibility to protect a fighter from suffering unnecessary harm or injury when the fighter is not or cannot intelligently defend. A deep joint lock is more dangerous than a fighter turtled up getting pummeled with ground and pound – a situation that is commonly stopped via TKO.

I was pretty okay with what happened, mainly because it was dramatic as hell and I’m not going to be the one who has to deal with the painful clicking in my elbow for the rest of my life. How will Miesha be able to find a husband if her dish scrubbing arm is all jacked up???

But it’s hard not to see Benjamin’s point. He revealed himself as a bit of a sexist dolt when he tried to convince the world that women shouldn’t fight five minute rounds, but I think this column would have been the same regardless of if it was a chick or a dude getting their arm destroyed. 99.9% of the time, the ref steps in as soon as the elbow pops backwards.

The tricky part was that Ronda hit that point on Miesha a minute into the fight and Miesha promptly escaped and continued to fight on. That combined with the title implications left the ref in a situation where stopping the fight without a tap would have discounted everything Tate had done to make it to that point. The message from that first armbar was that Miesha didn’t give a sh*t about the arm, so who was the ref to disagree?

“Just the guy who’s supposed to protect stubborn idiots from themselves” you say? Touche.

  • Reverend Clint

    Glad it went all the way and I really don’t give a shit what dr. Benny or nick diaz have to say

  • Giallo

    The cunt didn’t tap and the arm didn’t snap, so the ref was right to let it ride.

  • CAP

    tap bitch tap. It’s all on Tate she knew she was caught.

  • kwagnuth

     That guy doesn’t look like he is playing with a full deck. He looks like he was up all night drinking whiskey and snorting coke. I’m not good with the geometry but her arm was bent at a bad angle. No one would have complained if he would have  stopped it say a couple of seconds after it got all bendy like that. 

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    It’s the refs job to protect the fighters, but it’s not their job to predict the future.

    Tate should have known long before the ref did that her arm was going to “break”. She didn’t tap & she suffered the consequences. If the ref stepped in before that moment Tate & everyone else would be bitching about an early stoppage (just like what happened in Ronda’s second fight in Strikeforce).

  • frickshun

    This is such a dumb fucking argument. If a fighter doesn’t want to tap, that’s their choice. Unlike Mir/Nog where it snapped way too quick for Nog or the ref to intervene………Tate rolled out of the 1st & was squirming, hoping to roll out again. It didn’t happen & she faced the consequences. For that, we get Dr. Obama on his soap box? GTFO.

    I understand on a blood or air choke but not a limb. Complete poppycock!!

  • SST

    The ref did a brilliant job. If it was Herb Dean, he would have stopped it on the first armbar, depriving us of seeing the 2nd one.

  • Spicoli

    Bitch shoulda tapped, Plain and simple. Not the ref’s fault.

  • FilmDrunk

    Under this particularly narrow circumstance, I’d say, yeah, the ref maybe should’ve stopped it, but you don’t want refs making that decision. How many armbars have you seen that looked super deep that the person ended up squirming out of? It’s on you to tap if you don’t want your arm fucked. I never understand what these people have against tapping, by the way. You should be able to tell when you’re not going to be able to get out of something before your shit snaps, assuming you’re not fighting Paul Harris.

  • OlyReigns

    I just wanted to know, at what angle does the forearm literally rip off? I almost thought Tate was gonna let us find out. Who didn’t love war face Ronda? This chick rules.

  • fightlinker

    she coulda pulled at it and it would have been all gross and loose, I’m amazed it seemed to pop back into operational status afterwards. The elbow is a mysterious and gross thing:


  • Grappo


    Take that home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato… Baby, you’ve got a stew going.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Never once touched my per diem.

  • Oontyex

    The only similarity to someone wailing on a fighter turtling is that i think in both situations it’s on the fighter to tap (to the sub/strikes) . Really only the fighter (should) know how damaging it is n what their body can take. If they judge that wrong they should only blame themselves

  • AJBuwalda

    I was actually kind of surprised he did not stop it. Yes, Tate should not have been so stubborn and tapped. Yet, We all know houw fighters are; they don’t tap until you rip that thing of and they lay there with massive blood loss. I wouldn’t be shocked if they instate a rule that say “When the are of one of the fighters acts like a bendy straw; stop the fight”.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Isn’t it called a technical submission?   Or is that just when they go to sleep?

  • G Funk

    I like poppycock.

  • Letibleu

    any word on official damage to the arm?

  • P W

    What’s this bullshit “fighters should know when to tap”? Yeah, they should also know not to hold on to the cage, kick each other in the balls, poke each other in the eyes, and kick downed opponents in the face, but still they do it all the time. If fighters always did the right thing in every situation there wouldn’t be a need for a referee in the cage at all, right? But fighters are stupid, so someone has to make sure that they don’t cause unnecessary damage to their opponents or themselves. (And if you think soothsayer skills are required to know when to stop a fight, you’ve misunderstood something.)


  • CM Punk

    Giallo – “The cunt didn’t tap…”

    Make this into a T-shirt now. Like Jesus didn’t Tap, but different. With different pictures. Phoenix?

  • CAP

    I’ve been thinking

    Jesus didn’t juice ©

    would be a good idea. Fightlinker?

  • Giallo

    Bang!! ^ secondonded

    ^^ cunts don’t tap, they flap

  • CAP

    start the presses


  • iamphoenix

    awesome cap

    i want it for seriously.

    i love you cmpunk for thinking about me

  • Reverend Clint

    count me in

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Oh YES! I’m down!