You have probably already seen the high-light reel somersault kick that Marius Zaromskis landed on his opponent Bruno Carvalho, leading to a TKO stoppage shortly thereafter. If not, I've provided video at the end of the post. The fight took place this past Saturday at the annual Rumble of the Kings event in Stockholm, Sweden. What you may not have known from just watching the ending of the fight, is that there was some controversy earlier in the round, as Carvalho accused Zaromskis of greasing. The referee halted the action and checked Zaromskis upper back and arms by sort of rubbing his hands against him (I was there live and witnessed it). Apparently the referee did not detect any foreign substances, as the fight was restarted without any further action.
Bruno Carvalho's management has now filed an official complaint, with three different points. First of all they are claiming that Zaromskis was greased up. They also say that the kick that led to the end of the fight landed to the back of the head, and should thus be determined illegal. In what seems almost absurd, they are even claiming that the fight was stopped prematurely. This despite that most reactions from viewers around the world have been that the ref should have stopped it earlier.
In my opinion this all comes off as a bit of sore loser mentality, and only acts to paint Carvalho in a bad way, especially since their complaint will almost definitely be rejected. The only part I could see getting anywhere is the claim that the referee is obligated to towel the fighter down after a greasing accusation; I am not sure whether this is true or not.
It is expected that there will be a ruling in the matter in two weeks time.
You can read the full complaint sent to the SMMAF here, courtesy of MMANytt.se:
November 27, 2011
Protest against the decision of the Bruno Carvalho vs. Marius Zaromskis fight
Dear Mr. Sallfeldt,
as discussed with you yesterday directly after the event, Control Master Management is filing an official protest against the outcome of the SMMAF sanctioned fight between Marius Zaromskis and our client Bruno Carvalho.
There are three reasons for our protest:
1. Marius Zaromskis had several body parts covered in Vaseline, oil, lotion or another slippery substance. It is no secret that Bruno Carvalho, a black belt in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu feels most comfortable fighting on the ground. He has also been very successful in moving the fight to the mat in the past, even against established grapplers, due to his prowess in wrestling and judo. Zaromskis’ team knew of this ahead of the fight and applied Vaseline at least to two different body parts including the lower back and the back of his knees.
Knowing the possibility of a despicable and unsportsmanlike behavior like this before the fight, we kindly requested Zaromskis to be thoroughly checked before the fight by the assigned referee, Mr. Robert Sundin. We even outlined the body parts in question, e.g. shoulders, neck, lower back, back of the knees, etc. to him. During the fight, Zaromskis and Bruno Carvalho quickly ended up in a clinch position. This is one of Bruno Carvalho’s favorite positions to throw his opponents and take them down to the mat.
Bruno Carvalho immediately complained to the referee Mr. Sundin that he could feel a slippery substance on Marius Zaromskis’ lower back. Mr. Sundin however just told him to continue fighting. At the next break of action, Mr. Sundin superficially checked the neck and chest of Marius Zaromskis for an illegal substance. However, he did not check the lower back and the back of his knees. Additionally, he did not use a towel to dry off Marius Zaromskis, despite several inquiries from Bruno Carvalho’s cornermen.
Applying excessive Vaseline, especially on any bodypart of the competitor except for the face is considered a foul as outlined in §21.2 and §21.3 of the SMMAF rules.
Even if he did not feel any illegal substance during his superficial examination, he must use a towel to rub down any possible substance only if it is just to remove the shadow of a doubt that something could have been applied. Mr. Sundin did not fulfill his duty of care as a professional impartial arbitrator in this situation.
Failure to clean Marius Zaromskis clearly altered the outcome of this bout. Knowing he would not be able to take his slippery opponent down, Bruno Carvalho refrained from applying any grappling and clinching techniques from that point forward. When Marius Zaromskis landed the wheel kick on him that knocked him down, however, he immediately shot in for a single-leg takedown, a wrestling technique. Once again it was not possible for Bruno Carvalho, an accomplished wrestler and grappler, to properly grab hold of his slippery opponent.
2. The wheel kick that eventually led to the stoppage of the fight was an illegal blow as it landed on the back of the head. Under both the SMMAF rules as well as the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, striking the back of the head is considered a prohibited technique. The right decision would have been to stop the fight and give Bruno Carvalho time to recover.
3. We feel that fight was stopped prematurely. Even after being hit by the knee to the body and a flurry of punches, Bruno Carvalho was signaling to the referee Mr. Sundin that he was alright and ready to continue fighting. Even when Zaromskis was landing more punches, he verbally told him not to stop the fight, well knowing there were only seconds left to fight in the first round. Mr. Sundin also did not communicate clearly to Bruno Carvalho that he needed to fight back or was in danger of the fight being stopped.
Despite verbal and non-verbal feedback on multiple occasions, Mr. Sundin stopped the fight with 1-2 seconds left on the clock (there are conflicting reports about the official fight time).
Due to the multitude of refereeing mistakes being made in this bout, especially the failure to properly dry off the accused fighter of an illegal substance – even if it is just to remove the shadow of a doubt – that permanently altered the nature and the outcome of the bout, we are making a case for this fight to be ruled a "No Contest".
It is just not fair that after all the hard training, diet and sacrifice Bruno Carvalho went through in the past couple of months in preparation for this fight, that he is cheated out of his deserved success. We are seeing the professional career of a commendable young sportsman like Carvalho being destroyed by criminal practices that have no place in our sport. We are sincerely hoping for the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation to make a statement that you are not going to tolerate any unsportsmanlike behavior like this as shown by Marius Zaromskis in this fight.
It is important to make a statement against gaining an advantage through the usage of illegal substances now. Even though it may be an unpopular decision, it has been made in the past, even on the biggest of stages. The result of the Dec. 31, 2006 bout between Yoshihiro Akiyama and Kazushi Sakuraba was also overturned and ruled a no contest after it was determined that Akiyama had used Vaseline to defend Sakuraba’s takedowns. If you do not take action against unsporting behavior now, it will be a signal to every mixed martial artist in Sweden that cheating is perfectly acceptable.
Control Master Management
Rumble of the Kings 2011 Marius Zaromskis vs Bruno Carvalho (Ending) (via hungryj89)