MMA ref under fire for scary late stoppage after fighter choked unconscious

Being a referee in a mixed martial arts bout is a tough job. You never want to call a fight too early, as you want to give the fighters their fair shot, but sometimes, you have to know when to step in.

That didn’t happen here, and a fighter could have been seriously hurt if this choke hold had gone on any longer.

In a bantamweight title fight for Legacy FC, Steven Peterson was able to lock in a rear-naked choke hold on the champ Manny Vazquez in the fourth round. Peterson had the hold cinched in well, and Vazquez looks out for up to ten seconds before the ref finally calls to end the fight.

The danger here, of course, is that a prolonged choke hold can cut off blood flow to the brain and eventually cause injury. This is why — more often than not — when a choke hold gets locked in, the ref will be quick to step in and end the bout.

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Not here, though, and it really caused a scary situation.

According to, the fight is currently under review by the Texas Combative Sports commission.

Bo was born in Atlanta, GA, and has always been a savvy sports follower. He attended Georgia Tech and has previously worked with ESPN TrueHoop, HawksHoop, and the Georgia Tech Newsroom. He covers national college football for FanBuzz.
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