Copa Thunder de MMA Amador held an amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) event last weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and just like in the United States (and other parts of the world), most amateur bouts are contested under modified rules.
That includes the 198-pound showdown between Jessian Lucas and Michael Douglas, who were prohibited from landing head strikes to a downed opponent. As you can see from the video above, that rule went right out the window.
And referee Kleber Lopes just stood by and watched.
“At 11 seconds of the first round, Michael was knocked out by a high kick to the head and the referee made his first mistake, not interrupting the fight,” Anderson Ulysses, vice-president of CANMMA, wrote on social media. “He committed the second mistake by allowing the fight to continue with the athlete unconscious.”
Lopes was subsequently suspended pending additional training, according to MMA Fighting.
“We apologize to the athletes, teams, MMA fans and Thunder Fight for the mistakes committed due to lack of experience of the professionals,” Ulysses continued. “We inform that the referees that committed the mistakes were interns who were getting tested and had no experience as referees, but had undergone rule courses previously.”
Amateur fighters mixed with amateur referees is a recipe for disaster.