You don’t often see two chokes being applied simultaneously in MMA, but that is what happened in Kyrgyzstan this week when a referee was forced to strangle a fighter after he refused to release a tight submission of his own.
Longtime viewers of mixed martial arts will be able to recount a few instances of fighters failing to release submissions holds when ordered to by the referee (Rousimar Palhares, we’re looking at you), but rarely does the official actually have to take matters into his own hands – quite literally.
A fight this week between Doolotbek Narmatov and Saidburkhon Saidakbarova at the WEF Selection 35 event in Kyrgyzstan was progressing as many bouts before it have before Narmatov locked in a tight guillotine choke submission.
After a few seconds of struggle, Saidakbarova admitted defeat and tapped at least five times on his opponent’s shoulder – but Narmatov held on to the choke for several seconds as the referee attempted to pry him off.
— Barrele la pierna (@Barrelelapierna) May 19, 2021
Eventually the official was forced apply a two-handed choke of his own to the offending fighter before Narmatov eventually released his foe and climbed to the top of the cage in celebration of his victory.
He was confronted after the fight by one of Saidakbarova’s cornermen and despite his clearly illegal use of the submission, he seemed confused by the reaction of his opponent’s team.
Narmatov even attempted to console his opponent for his loss after the fight, with that gesture also thrown back in his face.
dude should lose his license
— jake smith (@jake8randomnums) May 19, 2021
this fighter should be punished
— Pan Przemysław (@Przemys662) May 19, 2021
Should have punched him in the face. That was criminal.
— Car Gone of Assad (@CarGoneOfAssad) May 19, 2021
It remains to be seen whether Narmatov will face any official sanction for holding on to the submission – but you can be sure that he will be hoping that he doesn’t have to take on any of Saidakbarova’s clearly irate training partners a little further down the line.
“Dude should lose his license,” wrote one MMA fan on Twitter after viewing Narmatov’s transgression, while another agreed that he should be “punished” for his actions.
A third suggested that the referee didn’t go far enough in reprimanding Narmatov.
“[The referee] should have punched him in the face. That was criminal,” they wrote.
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