Rodolfo Vieira recently criticized the referees involved in his sister Ana Vieira‘s IBJJF World Championship final match for not intervening quick enough when she was choked unconscious. Vieira took a bronze medal from the medium-heavyweight division at the IBJJF world championship 2023 and made it all the way to the final of the absolute division. She put in a great weekend of work against the best female grapplers on the planet and was standing across from Gabrieli Pessanha in the final match of her journey.
Vieira ended up being caught in a deep gi choke by Pessanha and as she was belly-down at the time, she ended up being put to sleep before she was able to tap. This is an unfortunate but generally pretty common occurrence in professional grappling matches, but what happened next was a problem. The IBJJF referee in charge of the match didn’t actually notice that Ana Vieira had been choked unconscious for several seconds and although he did call the match off, it wasn’t immediate and this is what Rodolfo Vieira took issue with. It’s understandable too, because the referee in question definitely could have signaled an end to the match much sooner than he eventually did.
Rodolfo Vieira criticized the IBJJF referees involved in Ana Vieira’s world championship final in a recent post to his official Instagram account. The original statement is in Portuguese, but a rough translation can be found below:
“Now that my head is more at ease I can talk about what happened to my sister in the absolute world cup final. There are mistakes and mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, all judges make mistakes, and a lot to be honest, but the mistake that this judge made, by acting in an improper way to find out my sister’s status was absurd! He couldn’t have been the way he was, he should have at least knelt, to pay attention to the smallest details in a dangerous position like that, but he didn’t, or see her hitting he saw. He just tilted his body a little as you can see in the video and pictures.”
“Anyway, I come here to leave my indignation with what happened and for me a very serious mistake like that, he or any other judge should be banned and never arbitrate again, my sister could be dead now, or had some pretty serious problem after so long unconscious, but thanks to Lord she is fine!”
“And here I want to thank everyone who sent messages asking and worried about her! I hope IBJJF takes the necessary steps so that this never happens to any other athlete again!”