It is easy to see bad refereeing when it occurs. Being out of position, late stoppages and quick stand ups are easy ways to end up on MMA fans' "Screw This Ref" list. BE member Lodz had an excellent way of judging whether or not a referee was good at their job or not, saying "The mark of a great referee is, frankly, having to rack your brain to remember a fight they completely fucked up."
With these thoughts roasting in my mind like a Christmas ham, I thought about the top five stoppages I've seen since I started following MMA almost four years ago. Not all of these stoppages were perfect due to the referee, some of them were excellent due to the fighter not throwing unnecessary punches or holding a submission when his opponent was clearly not able to continue. As always, thank you for reading and if you feel some other fight stoppage deserves to be on the list, let me know in the comments. With that being said, lets get to the list.
Honorable mention: Mark Hunt Vs. Stefan Struve
This fight deserves an honorable mention not only because of Mark Hunt's awesome walk-off, but due to the fact Struve's jaw was broken by Mark's missile of a left hand. More follow up punches would not have added anything meaningful to this fight.
5. Mark Hunt Vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Just Like Hunt Vs. Struve, more punches weren't necessary to prove the Super Samoan victorious.
4. Jon Fitch Vs. Josh Burkman
This fight makes the list at number four due to Burkman holding the submission for a maximum of three seconds past Fitch going unconscious. Using the fight clock in the gif, Fitch seems to go out with roughly 4:25 left in the round. Burkman flips Fitch over and lets go with 4:22 left in the round. Burkman possibly saved the ref too, he didn't start to look at Fitch until about 4:20 left in the round, five seconds after Jon goes unconscious.
Brian Stann is one of the top fighters in MMA history in terms of sportsmanship. He landed an elbow and follows up with two punches, the second punch stopping Sakara. Stann, being the gentleman he is, sat up and puts his hands forward, motioning to the ref that the fight is over.
2. Tim Sylvia Vs. Frank Mir
This is the only stoppage I can remember where the ref did his job perfectly. Mir locks in the armbar and Tim Sylvia's arm obviously snaps. Despite the controversy immediately following the stoppage, Herb Dean did his job and stopped the fight at the perfect time.
Lyoto Machida landed a textbook left high kick that left Mark Munoz stunned. Instead of blitzing Munoz with punches, Lyoto kept his right hand loaded, but did not throw a single follow up punch. The referee stepped in quickly, but all the credit goes to Machida for not throwing any more strikes than necessary.
So is there a fight I am forgetting? Something you disagree with? Let me know, thank you for reading!