CCSC finding supports ref in Couture bout


Judging and refereeing in MMA have recently come under heavy criticism due to a series of questionable actions in high profile matches.

on July 8 at AX Combat 1 on July 8 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada a fight between Kim Couture and Sheila Bird hit the mat, and Bird secured a head scissor on her opponent. As can be seen in the video below (1:50 mark), Couture's entire body went visbily limp, and several long seconds passed before the ref ended the bout. Further, the ref ended it not by tapping the winning competitor or physically pulling the legs apart, but by waving his hands overhead.

Couture quiickly recovered, suffered no damage from the choke, and publicly stated she had no problem with the officiating.

Now the Calgary Combative Sports Commission has conducted a formal review of the stoppage, and has come down firmly in support of the referee.

“As standard practice, debriefing meetings are always held amongst commission members and officials following any supervised combative sports event held in Calgary,” read a statement from the Calgary commission. “The committee discussed the call made by the official for the Couture vs. Bird bout. It was determined that a formal review would be conducted of the circumstances surrounding that call.

“After an in-depth investigation, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission members rendered a decision to support the official, Mr. Len Koivisto. No further action or investigations into the officiating of Mr. Koivisto will be required by the Commission.

“Mr. Koivisto has been involved in the combative sports industry for close to 40 years, the last 23 in various officiating capacities. He is a well respected boxing referee (nationally and internationally) and has officiated MMA (nationally) for several years in various jurisdictions in close to 400 matches without incident. He has always taken his ring official’s duties very seriously and conducts himself with a great deal of professionalism.”

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Here's the twist... the sad, unfortunate, you're-really-dropping-the-ball-here-CCSC-twist: Mr. Koivisto has taken the COMMAND course before and he failed miserably; and this was the COMMAND Judges Certification course. As a graduate of that same program, I can tell you that it's daunting. I can also tell you that having passed the Judges course in no way qualifies me to referee a mixed martial arts bout, so how does a history as a boxing official and a failing grade on the easier of the two COMMAND courses justify Mr. Koivisto being the third person in the ring for MMA events?

Read entire article...


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tags: Len Koivisto   Kim Couture   Sheila Bird   AX Combat   video   

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Recent Comments »

RedVexx site profile image  

7/22/11 5:09 PM by RedVexx

Thats scary!No telling how many unreported finishes he has screwed up. He has reffed over 400 matches and still dont know what the hell he is doing. He must be completely incompetent or they are falsifying his credentials.

PrettyBoy site profile image  

7/22/11 4:46 PM by PrettyBoy

It's like when cops do internal investigations

Stu Cazzo site profile image  

7/22/11 4:22 PM by Stu Cazzo

This guy couldn't recognize that Kim was in trouble even though her entire body was limp and she was staring off into space like a comatose person. Would you feel safe with this clown reffing a fight with you in it as the opponent puts you in a leglock? Fuck no -  

Stu Cazzo site profile image  

7/22/11 4:15 PM by Stu Cazzo

Are you fucking kidding me? The ref is supposed to stop the fight the instant the losing fighter stops fighting back.  He's the primary person in charge of the figher's safety. Get out of here with that inept post -

sadisticsoldier site profile image  

7/22/11 3:59 PM by sadisticsoldier

It is funny, cause they say he has so much experience with no incidents, yet this is an incident. Now the next time there is an incident, they can say there have been no incidents. Obviously the most important thing isn't fighter safety. It is saving face for the commission. For some reason statistics are more important than public perception. Maybe the public in this situation isn't large enough or important enough.I don't think the guy needs to be fired, but prove to me that the guy has learned a lesson and next time he will be more aware. This guy should have some kind of suspension and take some classes during it. Not sure why that would be considered harsh or unjust. When these people are responsible for the well-being of others, it is the least they can do.

Herring In A Fur Coat site profile image  

7/22/11 3:52 PM by Herring In A Fur Coat

 Leave it up to "Wolfman" to insert himself into any discussion that has nothing to do with him...

DSaint site profile image  

7/22/11 3:49 PM by DSaint

Eh, there are some greenies on here that are straight attention whores. It's kinda sad to watch someone constantly spamming videos...

disbeliever site profile image  

7/22/11 3:45 PM by disbeliever

fair enough

The MMA Analyst site profile image  

7/22/11 3:42 PM by The MMA Analyst

Sorry I confused you, little guy.The point is, it doesn't take a professional to understand when someone has lost consciousness. And for a paid official to not pick up on something so obvious, is a problem.I'll try to dumb it down for you in the future.

Attila site profile image  

7/22/11 3:30 PM by Attila

Perhaps I can forgive the ref for making an honest mistake, but this is just disgusting and politics at its worst. I don't care how much experience and professionalism the ref has - to claim that he acted appropriately in this case is a fucking joke.


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