This past weekend, FanSided brought to you a horrendous stoppage at the EFC Africa 28 event in Johannesburg, South Africa.
If you missed the terrible stoppage, watch the GIF below (courtesy of @GrabakaHitman):
The GIF of the stoppage made it’s way through most of MMA media this past weekend, with each successive post lambasting the referee for not doing his job.
Apparently, EFC president Cairo Howarth believes that there was nothing wrong with the stoppage (Courtesy of BloodyElbow):
The Walravens vs. Mikixi fight was awesome. Sitting Hexagon side, I had no feeling that the stoppage was handled improperly. It was heat of the moment, Walravens delivering standing hammer fist ground and pound, with Mikixi working for position to defend. Walravens was warned by referee Wiekus Swart to be careful of hitting the back of the head, who was monitoring the fight closely, and I felt he was reading the situation well. Bernardo rolled onto his back, a standard defensive position, and then verbally submitted, at which point Wiekus stopped the fight. In terms of the rules of MMA, I don’t see anything wrong with the stoppage. In fact, the first inkling anyone in the arena had that there may be something wrong was after sensationalism hit the internet – which says a lot about how difficult it is to judge reality on a single camera angle. Bernardo was examined immediately after and had no head injuries to speak of, and at the time was not personally concerned with the blows. We’ve re-watched the fight, and fans need to remember that ‘back of the head’ is a specific area. It’s a narrow strip, running down the centre of the back of the head. It’s not the whole area, from ear to ear. Walravens was angling his shots from the side, making every effort to avoid the danger zone, on a moving target.
The simple fact here is that Cairo is wrong. Blaming it on MMA media ‘sensationalism’ is just a farce. The stoppage was terrible to say the least and the referee failed to protect the fighter. Walravens literally stopped punching Mikixi before the referee stepped in to call the fight. It was an egregiously late stoppage, especially when you consider that Booto Guylain died at EFC Africa 27 just over a month ago due to injuries sustained in a fight.