When exactly a referee should step in and stop a bout is a source of controversy in mixed martial arts. In bouts where a fighter is clearly hurt, but defending in same way, or not defending, there is no consensus as to the right time for the referee to end the bout.
Some fans are of the mindset that if a fighter is not defending themselves, even if still conscious, the bout should be halted. Others believe that as long as conscious, that fighter should be give every opportunity to regain composure and stay in the fight. Former UFC champion Frankie Edgar tends to agree with that latter option:
“If it’s me, let me be limp before you stop it,” Edgar recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “It’s tough to be a ref, especially in that situation when they’ve got to protect the fighters. But I want every chance I can get. Let me go out on my shield.”
“It’s definitely the referee’s discretion, but I want every chance to come back,” Edgar said. “In the Maynard fights, someone else may have stopped it. Obviously the ref didn’t, and he made the right choice because I bounced back. That was the right choice.”
“I’m a fighter; I can’t help it,” Edgar said. “I’m a competitor. I want to win, and if I feel a ref stopped it too early, I would be upset.
“I just want the chance to come back. I’m sure it would never be like that where I’m getting my head beat in and the ref wouldn’t stop it, but I just want a chance to come back.”
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