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Video: Referee grabs fighter’s neck when he refuses to let go of choke

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Regional MMA is where chaos reigns. A local fighter refused to let go of a choke at WEF Selection 35, requiring the referee to step in in an atypical way.

Screengrab from @Grabaka_Hitman via Twitter.
Screengrab from @Grabaka_Hitman via Twitter.

You never quite know what you’re gonna get when it comes to regional MMA. Fighters falling out of the cage because of a busted door? Check. A superman punch with a ten second running start? Check.

Now we can add a referee ‘getting hostile’ with a choke to stop the choke. Sort of. WEF Selection 35: Battle in the Mountains was an event that occurred the other night in Kyzyl Tokoy, Kyrgyzstan. The fighter holding the choke, Doolotbek Narmatov, didn’t let go when his opponent, Saidburkhon Saidakbarova, began tapping. This wasn’t a case of a few extra seconds lending leeway to the ‘rush of adrenaline’ argument. See for yourself.

Narmatov didn’t stop even once his opponent began tapping, and had the ref on top of him trying to pry him free. It required some adaptation on the ref’s part, who didn’t have the strength to pry Narmatov’s grip free. So he resorted to grabbing Narmatov by the neck.

It wasn’t a choke so much as a choking motion, but if Narmatov kept holding on, it easily could have turned into the Tom Erikson special. Boneheaded move on Narmatov’s part, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll experience any repercussions.