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Video of winning fighter tapping out is more strange than sportsmanlike

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A look at the full video of Mike Pantangco tapping out in a fight he was winning against Jeremy Raser shows less of a moment that spared Raser from physical danger, and more of an odd decision to end a normal fight.

The tale of a recent amateur bout in Michigan has been making the rounds after being featured on Inside MMA. The fight in question was Mike Pantangco facing Jeremy Raser at a Prison City Fight League event in Michigan.

A look at the highlight package shows Pantangco seemingly dominating Raser, battering him around the cage with a variety of flashy strikes before backing away and tapping out.

The action is explained by Pantagco, "I just feel that there's no point fighting him because he didn't train against me and I didn't train for him and I just feel like we're amateur fighters. We don't get money. We don't get paid and I know that the only thing I'm going to finish him to go in the hospital or get hurt. I just feel terrible so I'm just going to give him the win."

The act is being treated as a great moment of class and sportsmanship. And it certainly seemed that way viewing only the highlights.

But things change a bit when you watch the full fight:

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I'm the first guy jumping up and screaming for professional fights to be stopped when someone is taking an unnecessary beating. But this fight simply wasn't that.

Here's how it breaks down:

  • Raser takes Pantangco down within 20 seconds and has mount.
  • Pantangco quickly reverses to end up on top, throws a few punches while Raser is very active in attacking from his back. They go back to the feet and Pantangco can't finish a guillotine attempt.
  • Pantangco unleashes a nice flurry of strikes but throws a missed head kick, and a grazing flying knee before landing a decent combination of punches. Raser is clearly fine at this point.
  • Leg kick from Raser, body kick from Pantangco. Raser tries for another takedown which is well defended by Pantangco. Pantangco then lands a nice spinning backfist and a punch that appear to stagger Raser a little. Pantangco then backs off as Raser comes forward and taps the mat.
  • Raser is clearly confused.

There was no sustained beating, nor was there any point where I felt Raser was in serious danger. He took a couple good shots, he was buzzed a little by the last shot. Had the referee stepped in, I'd be fine with that. It was an amateur fight and I'm fine with a ref jumping in a little more quickly than in a professional bout.

But I can't get on board with the idea that this was a great moment in the history of sportsmanship.

Was Pantangco going to win? It certainly seems like it. Was he going to get the stoppage? Quite possibly.

But that's kind of how the sport works.