The sport of MMA inherently carries risks, but poor officiating can add an extra layer of danger. Fury FC 76, held at the Boeing Center in San Antonio, Texas, featured a 20-fight card, including a five-round main event between flyweights Edgar Cháirez and Gianni Vazquez.
In the fourth round of the bout, Cháirez secured a triangle choke that rendered Vazquez unconscious. Despite the commentary team’s repeated calls for the fight to be stopped, referee Frank Collazo allowed the match to continue. Cháirez capitalized on this opportunity to transition into an armbar, hyperextending Vazquez’s arm until he finally regained consciousness and tapped out.
The incident at Fury FC 76 highlights the importance of competent officials in ensuring fighter safety, as well as the potential dangers of allowing fights to continue beyond their natural conclusion.
Ridiculous scene at Fury FC. Edgar Cháirez puts Gianni Vazquez to sleep with a triangle, and the ref simply doesn’t stop it. Cháirez ends up armbarring an unconscious Vazquez who wakes up in the submission. #Furyfc76 pic.twitter.com/AgcwI2i3ss
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 25, 2023
After the disturbing incident at Fury FC 76, where referee Frank Collazo failed to stop a fight despite a fighter going unconscious, the MMA community was left in shock. The incident highlights the inherent danger of the sport and the importance of competent officials. Fury FC has released a statement regarding the incident, acknowledging the severity of the situation and addressing the need for proper training and evaluation of referees.
Fury FC promptly responded to the backlash on social media regarding the actions of referee Frank Collazo. In their Facebook statement, the organization criticized Collazo’s handling of the fight, stating that he failed to ensure the safety of the fighters. Although Fury FC is not responsible for hiring referees, they expressed their willingness to assist with referee training to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“It is the referee’s job to protect the fighter when the fighter cannot protect him or herself. In last night’s main event, the referee failed to do this. While the job of a referee is one of the hardest to do in this sport, the need for proper and continued training would help to alleviate things like this incident,” the statement from Fury reads.
“We do not hire, train or select refs for our shows, but we would be more than willing to lead a revamp and overhaul of the reffing and judging selection and training process.”
The situation that occurred at Fury FC 76 with Gianni Vazquez being knocked out and receiving medical attention was indeed unfortunate. Fortunately, he was cleared by the medical staff and the outcome could have been much worse. However, the promotion addressing the issue may lead to a greater awareness and seriousness when it comes to fighter safety in MMA.