Anything can happen in a fight, but when the occasional illegal blow happens, you’d like to think the referee will step in and halt the action and give the injured fighter time to recover. Today on the third fight of the UFC undercard, Referee Chip Snider missed a blatant illegal knee by Oliveira that ultimately brought the contest to an untimely end.
Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz were on their way to one of those amazing fights. The first round was a back and forth affair that was the best round of the young evening and threatened to lead Nik Lentz and Charles Oliveira into rarified Fight of the Night territory. However in the second round, after a scramble Oliveira drilled Lentz in the right eye with an illegal knee that split Lentz above and below the eye and hurt him.
Leading up to the illegal knee, both fighters were fighting an inspired fight with Oliveira winning the first round on all three judges’ scorecards. A rematch would certainly be welcomed by the many fans that were upset by the missed call by the referee.
The referee, Chip Snider, missed the blow completely and allowed the fight to continue where an obviously stunned Lentz was almost immediately submitted via a rear naked choke giving Oliveira a tainted victory.
However, immediately after the fight, the PA Athletic Commission entered the Octagon and let the referee know he missed an illegal knee, and Joe Rogan explained to an unhappy crowd that the Commission would be reviewing the tape and coming back with a decision.
Don’t be at all surprised to see this fight changed into a no contest at some point in the not too distant future. Accidents happen in this sport, but the referees are there to protect the fighters, and today, Nik Lentz went unprotected. Hopefully as the sport continues to grow and branch into new areas, the commissions and referees can stay ahead of the curve.
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