Being a referee in mixed martial arts is at once crucially important and simultaneously entirely thankless. No fighter ever attributed aw in to a ref, and countless fighters blame refs for a loss.
Virtually all the referees cites as being the best are also at some point also cited as being the worst. Among those receiving the most criticism lately is Kim Winslow. In addition to the usual fan and fighter criticism, there is undeniably sexism behind some of the messages directed at Winslow.
MMAPrime.tv's Aaron True interviewed Trevor “Hot Sauce” Smith about Winslow's stoppage in his fight versus Gian Villante. Smith feels the stoppage was early, and as well attributes what many perceived to be a late stoppage in the Mo Smith vs Lorenz Larkin fight to Winslow trying to compensate for what he perceives as an early stopage previously in the evening.
Smith reports that his camp will file for a no contest.
Aaron Tru: Last night you had a controversial finish to your fight. Tell us what happened last night.
Trevor Smith: Yeah, I just got done watching the replay right now. It was just one of those things where a referee jumped in there and stopped the fight when she had no business getting involved in the fight. I was diving for a leg and ankle lock. He caught one of my kicks. And as I go for that ankle lock he struck me in the back of the head, a few landed on the side but, you know. The whole time I was defending myself intelligently while I was going for the leg and ankle lock and reversal when she stopped it.
AT: I don't know if you had a chance to see King Mo's fight or not, to see when she stood them up when King Mo was working and it was kind of a late stoppage. I don't know if you've fought and had Kim referee for you before, but what is your opinion on Kim Winslow as a referee in MMA?
TS: She has no business in the sport. In regards to the King Mo fight, I watched that and Larkin took that damage because of because of my fight. She stopped it early. She felt silly because of the stoppage in my fight and that's the reason she let the Larkin/Lawal fight go as long as it did. She felt silly for stopping my fight. So, you know some of that damage that Larkin took was just because she made a bad decision in my fight and tried to make up for it in that one by letting it go a little too long.
AT: What was going through your head when she stopped the fight? Because you were working, you were fighting back and you seemed like you had all of your wits about you. Were you ever out of it? Were you hurt badly? What was going through your mind?
TS: No, actually when she first stood it up I didn't know what was going on. I was like, "Why is she stopping the fight?" And then I thought, "Ok, shes stopping the fight because of blows to the back of the head." and then she told me that the fight was waved off and then I was, you know, kind of in disbelief. It's like what do you do at that point? I think I could have said fuck you. I could have flipped out, but that's not going to do anything for me though. I guess my next step is to bring it in front of the commission and see what they can do and play it from there.
AT: So you weren't unconscious or out of it, you still had your wits about you then?
TS: Yeah, absolutely. I was diving for the leg and my style, how I fight that's how I like to do it. I prefer to be on my back. I like it when guys are throwing punches and I like to dive in and get those legs and kind of bury my head underneath it.
AT: You're coming off of a 5 fight win streak. So going into last night you had won 5 straight. How disappointing is it to get a defeat that way?
TS: Yeah, it's real disappointing. Like I said, we train very hard for this and if something is gonna be stopped, let it go, let me be unconscious, let me take some blows, let me take some damage. We train everyday to absorb that damage and if I'm going to lose a fight, I want to look like I've been in a fight. Cause I'm walking out of this fight with out a scratch on me. It's very disappointing. If I lose a fight, I want to get my ass kicked. I was to look like I've been in a fight. I want to feel like I got my ass kicked not cheated.
AT: I know it happened less than 24 hours ago, but you have a real good management team behind you with Wade Hampons and some other gentlemen. Can you tell us, are they going to take any steps to file for a no contest or get this fight overturned?
TS: Yeah, they're gonna file for a no contest or notify the commission. I'm not sure what steps they need to take to go through that, but we're definitely gonna push for that angle. You can look at the replay. I don't know what she was watching. They tried to explain that my head was on the canvas so it was absorbing all the damage. From two angles; one that it being an early stoppage, and then two, from the blows to the back of the head it was pretty clear cut that it should have been a no contest fight. It should have continued. Blows to the back of the head, they're gonna happen, I'm fine with that. But that early stoppage is the most aggravating thing for me and that she did it due to blows to the back of the head, which is kind of a fault to her.
“This is the official website of the Mixed Martial Arts llc. Commercial
reproduction, distribution or transmission of any part or parts of this website
or any information contained therein by any means whatsoever without the prior
written permission is not permitted.”