Possible Mass rule change after controversial bout

by Steven Marrocco | source: mmajunkie.com

At a recent Massachusett card, Justin Kristie and David Baxter made their amateur debuts. Both fighters came from top-flight gyms, and demonstrated extraordinary skill given their experience.

Towards the close of the first round, Kristie locks in a triangle, and Baxter appears to tap, or at least throw repeated open hand body shots in a closed fist contest.

What followed immediately was not entirely unusual:
•Baxter goes to sleep.
•The bell sounds.
•Baxter starts to convulse.
•Kristie and camp celebrate.

Then things took a turn into the epically bizarre:
•Baxter comes to, and far more than a minute passes.
•Baxter is attended to by two ringside physicians.
•Baxter is allowed to continue to the next round.
•Baxter wins via TKO, after having gone out and convulsed at the close of the previous round.

Should there be a rubber match?

And on the sober side, will the regulating body do anything about what happened?

To most outside observers, the officiating was farcial.

"In New Jersey, and, I would surmise, in many other commissions, the fight would have been stopped after the fighter was caught in a submission that he couldn't remove himself from, after he suffered a loss of consciousness, and after he suffered a seizure," said New Jersey State Athletic Control Board legal counsel Nick Lembo. "A fighter should be able to intelligently defend himself and continue at all times. He cannot be saved by the bell in any round, or any portion of the fight."

The Mass commission took a more nuanced view.

"The commission agreed it deserves careful examination," Terrel Harris, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, wrote in an email to MMAjunkie.com.

"[Baxter] stayed awake until right after the bell then blacked out for a second, is how it appears and what the doctors said."

At a meeting planned for October, the commission's medical advisory board is expected to offer an opinion on whether a "per se rule" is needed to immediately end matches in which a fighter loses consciousness from a submission hold.

A per se rule is defined as a generalized rule applied without consideration for specific circumstances.

Today the spokesperson said that the commission took no action on the appeal because the fighters and their reps didn't show to a July 12 meeting at which both were offered the opportunity to testify about the fight.

Kristie's trainer, Andrew Calandrelli, confirmed that he filed an appeal for the fighter but was unable to make the meeting.

"The worst part of the whole situation is that Justin hasn't really been back (to the gym) since then," Calandrelli said. "That kind of killed his spirt a little."

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Recent Comments »

Biggy site profile image  

8/13/12 5:22 PM by Biggy

didn't Jeremy horn put Liddell to sleep at the bell and the fight stopped between rounds??

Nakedwelshman site profile image  

8/13/12 5:14 PM by Nakedwelshman

And people wonder why MMA still has a bad public image.....

Knockoutimus site profile image  

8/13/12 4:46 PM by Knockoutimus

I would love to touch that ref

Chimonos Revenge site profile image  

8/13/12 4:28 PM by Chimonos Revenge

Not even remotely close to being the same thing.

MedMan007 site profile image  

8/13/12 4:23 PM by MedMan007

I'd like to know if the two physicians are still licensed.

cambeezee site profile image  

8/13/12 4:20 PM by cambeezee

 Check Kongo went unconscious and was allowed to continue and win the fight.  Perhaps the little power nap is just what these guys needed to get the W.

Chimonos Revenge site profile image  

8/13/12 4:04 PM by Chimonos Revenge

No way should that fight have ever been allowed to continue to the second round.

RandyDarsh site profile image  

8/13/12 4:02 PM by RandyDarsh

Hahah I have no idea how the fuck they thought it was ok for the guy to get chocked unconscious then continue fighting

McBottery site profile image  

8/13/12 3:33 PM by McBottery

Wow what the fuck was that ref thinking letting that go to the second round?

Silva'sSpiderBloodiedMyColon site profile image  

8/13/12 3:28 PM by Silva'sSpiderBloodiedMyColon

It's the wrong attitude? That's just reality. Shit isn't gunna change for a while