Invicta strawweight Celine Haga may be the victim of one of the worst calls in MMA history.
The 32-year-old Norwegian took on Amy Montenegro at Invicta 21 on January 14. At the end of the third round, Haga locked in a rear naked on Montenegro, but referee Greg Franklin did not know about it until the final bell sounded.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) January 15, 2017
For some reason, instead of awarding the victory to Haga, the fight went to the judges, who declared Montenegro the winner via unanimous decision.
The MMA community understandably did not take kindly to the controversial decision.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett insisted Haga should have won, stating that if “fighters can’t get to their corner under their own power then the fight should be over.”
If the fighters can't get to their corner under their own power then the fight should be over. Haga put her out. Haga won. #InvictaFC21
— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) January 15, 2017
UFC Bantamweight Aljamain Sterling tweeted,”That girl was OUT COLD, STUCK in a RNC & the ref had no idea.”
These refs are going to let someone DIE here tonight at #InvictaFC21! That girl was OUT COLD, STUCK in a RNC & the ref had NO idea. INSANE!
— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) January 15, 2017
Refereeing an MMA bout is one of the hardest jobs in professional sports. After all, refs have the duty to make a split-second decision that could not only make or break a fighter’s record (think of what Steve Mazzagatti did to Jon Jones at The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights Finale), but quite literally mean the difference between life and death.
But was there any excuse for Greg Franklin to send this fight to the judges after one of the fighters was choked unconscious?
I can’t think of one.
What say you, Jiu-Jitsu Times readers?