There are plenty of refereeing errors in the regional MMA world, but a series of them led to a buggy choke submission win in the co-main event of Brave CF 76 on November 25th, 2023. The standard of refereeing isn’t that high even in the UFC, where fans are used to seeing the occasional disaster or blunder leading to a bad outcome. As you travel further down the rungs of professional MMA promotions, sadly the likelihood of seeing those blunders increase dramatically. While there are plenty of examples of referee action (or inaction) producing some crazy results on the regional MMA circuit, this fight really does stand out even among the worst of them.
Murad Guseinov was coming into his co-main event fight at Brave CF 76 with a perfect 5-0 record as a professional fighter, while his opponent David Martinez was sitting at a respectable 11-5. While this should have been a fun and competitive fight on paper, it didn’t take long for things to go drastically wrong. It all started towards the end of the first round, when Guseinov managed to lock up a buggy choke against Martinez and started squeezing to get the finish. Martinez was working to escape the choke by first standing up, and then by slamming Guseinov into the mat. This was when the referee first intervened, separating the fighters and appearing to call off the fight despite it being a perfectly legal reaction.
Both men looked confused as to what was actually going on and even the referee himself was checking with other people on what to do next. The referee then decided to make up for his error by restarting the fight with Martinez back inside the buggy choke, a questionable decision to begin with. Guseinov continued squeezing to finish the choke and after a few seconds he looked up at the referee to tell him that he though Martinez was unconscious. Rather than check if this was true, the referee immediately called the fight off and it was obvious as soon as the choke was released that Martinez was still awake and actively defending the submission.
The full footage of the series of referee errors that led to the buggy choke finish in Murad Guseinov v David Martinez at Brave CF 76 was uploaded to Twitter and can be found below:
First this referee interrupts a Murad Guseinov buggy choke attempt due to a LEGAL slam by David Martinez.
Then, after realizing his error, the fight is restarted IN the buggy choke… and the ref prematurely stops the fight when Guseinov says Martinez is out. Amazing.… pic.twitter.com/LecJaHHV5W
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) November 25, 2023