Rogerio Bontin has been accused of one of the most egregious acts imaginable in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA competition, as some fans believe that he employed a ‘fake tap’ in his fight with Brandon Royval at UFC Vegas 46. The ‘fake tap’ is where one competitor is caught in a submission and sees no way out so instead they choose to gently tap their opponent in order to encourage them to relax or completely release the submission attempt. As a result of the motion not being a clear-cut tapping signal, the referee does not choose to end the fight and the pair continue.
While there is nothing illegal about the ‘fake tap’ (also sometimes referred to as a Brazilian tap) it is definitely something that virtually all competitors consider to be unethical and an example of bad sportsmanship. Most competitors would never dream of employing these kinds of tactics and there are many cases where two grapplers stop mid-submission, for one of them to turn to the referee and inform them that they tapped at an angle that the referee wasn’t able to see. Of course, not every competitor can be trusted to be a good sportsman and this kind of behavior is what encourages athletes to attack submissions as quickly as possible and risk damaging their opponent to ensure clear-cut victory.
In this particular match between Rogerio Bontin and Brandon Royval at UFC Vegas 46, it’s unclear whether what Bontin did does constitute a ‘fake tap’ but some fans certainly believe so. Bontin was caught in a deep armbar attempt from Royval and although he was able to stand and get his hips higher than his opponent, he still wasn’t able to free his arm entirely. He then briefly touches his opponents leg before continuing to attempt his escape, actually finding success immediately afterward.
There is likely always going to be a lot of contention over what does and does not constitute a tap and the whole concept of the ‘fake tap’ only makes that harder, below are two angles of the incident between Rogerio Bontin and Brandon Royval at UFC Vegas 46 for you to judge for yourself. Alternatively, the full event replay for UFC Vegas 46 will be available to watch on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.
Talk me out of thinking this should constitute tapping. https://t.co/ZxigsuozZi
— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) January 16, 2022
— MartialMind 🇳🇬🇺🇲 (@MartialMind1) January 16, 2022