Davey Grant vs. Raphael Assuncao wasn’t the only fight on Saturday where a ref’s call had massive consequences for the action.
After Alejandro Gavidia and Justin Vasquez stalled against the fence at Combate Global, referee Marcos Perez stood them up, and Vasquez seized the moment with an incredible flying knee that instantly knocked out Gavidia.
Check out the finish below, courtesy of @Grabaka_Hitman.
The win was Vasquez’s fifth straight and fourth under the Combate Global banner, while sending Gavidia back to the drawing board after a previous win.
Gavidia’s knockout happened on the same night Grant put Assuncao to sleep with a rarely-seen reverse triangle choke. Moments before, Grant had been deducted a point by referee Keith Peterson for grabbing the fence to avoid a takedown, and rather than reset the fighters, Peterson chose to restart them on their feet.
Among those to protest that call was Assuncao corner and Xtreme Couture coach Eric Nicksick, who told MMAMania that his charge deserved to be restarted in the clinch or in a takedown position for the work he’d done to get there. UFC Las Vegas commentator Din Thomas echoed Nicksick’s disapproval and said he’d raise the issue with the newly formed Association of Boxing Commissions’ Fighter Committee.
Veteran MMA reporter John Morgan cited NAC Executive Director Jeff Mullen’s explanation for Peterson’s restart.
For context, Jeff Mullen explained at event concern in restarting in this scenario was you’d be giving Grant dominant position despite being one who committed foul. Therefore decision was made to go neutral instead. May have ended up costing Assuncao, but that was the thought.
— John Morgan (@JohnMorgan_MMA) March 12, 2023