Headlining Fury FC 76 was a bout between Edgar Chairez and Gianni Vazquez at flyweight. DWCS vet Chairez took home a quality victory to improve to 9-4, but it was the officiating from referee Frank Collazo that stole all the attention.
In the fourth stanza of their main event bout, Vasquez got caught in a triangle choke and seemed to go limp and unconscious at the 3:34 mark of the round. Instead of stopping the fight and awarding Chairez the victory, the referee dangerously just allowed him to continue getting choked for a full 20 seconds. Everyone in the arena seemed to know he was out, with commentators and other people ringside just screaming “he’s out!!” over and over, but the referee just ignored them.
With the fight disturbingly not being called off, Chairez just decided to switch to an armbar, which the referee insanely allows him to apply to a clearly unconscious fighter. Everyone started screaming “Frank, he’s done! He’s done!” but referee Collazo just let it all continue. Vasquez eventually seemed to slowly regain consciousness right as his arm is being completely bent the other way, but guess what… the referee still doesn’t stop it!
“What are you doing?!? It’s done!!!” the commentators repeatedly screamed at the referee.
A seemingly confused Vasquez looked to have tapped with his leg as well as he slowly regained consciousness, but the referee still let it continue longer. A few more seconds and Vasquez uses his arm to tap again, and only then did referee step in to stop the contest.
To sum it up, referee Frank Collazo let an obviously unconscious fighter to get choked for 20 seconds, and then allowed the still unconscious fighter to get armbarred and injured for another 20 seconds.
Watch the seriously dangerous and disturbing scene produced by Collazo’s officiating, courtesy of Caposa.
Ridiculous scene at Fury FC. Edgar Cháirez puts Gianni Vazquez to sleep with a triangle, and the ref simply doesn’t stop it. Cháirez ends up armbarring an unconscious Vazquez who wakes up in the submission. #Furyfc76 pic.twitter.com/AgcwI2i3ss
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) March 25, 2023
According to the commentators, the ringside physician was also screaming from outside the cage asking the referee to stop the fight.
Vasquez corner should’ve stepped in as well, but the brunt of the blame easily falls on the referee in charge. The stoppage was about 40 seconds too late. And despite everyone repeatedly screaming at him, it was only when Vasquez fully woke up and was able to tap — possibly twice — due to his already injured arm that Collazo stopped the fight.
He not only unnecessarily caused an arm injury, he also risked serious health issues and death with the lack of blood to the brain for that long. It’s easily one of the worst officiating jobs in MMA history, and Collazo clearly should not be able to keep his job after this.
“It’s one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen in my life in MMA,” the broadcast booth is heard saying about the officiating. “I’m still stunned right now. My heart is still beating (fast), I thought we were about to see the something very horrible.”
Fortunately, Vasquez seemed to have avoided the worst as he was able to regain consciousness and eventually stand up on his own accord during the official decision. His arm seems to have been badly injured though, despite it being a completely avoidable situation.
A little update:
Gianni Vazquez was rushed to the ER after his fight and he can’t move his arm.
He hasn’t seen the doctor yet but at best it’s a severe arm dislocation
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) March 25, 2023
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