An error by a referee once again sparked controversy in a match held in Texas.
During Friday’s LFA 163 featherweight championship main event, taking place at the Bell County Expo Center and streamed on UFC Fight Pass, Javier Garcia secured the vacant title with a second-round submission victory over Elijah Johns. However, the result remains contentious due to referee Joel Ojeda prematurely halting the fight without Johns visibly tapping out.
The video detailing the match’s conclusion can be viewed below.
We didn’t witness a tap, yet it’s concluded. #LFA163 LIVE NOW on #UFCFIGHTPASS pic.twitter.com/rM4EI0jjkN
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) July 22, 2023
Johns immediately challenged the decision, appearing fully alert, but to no avail. The sudden end to the fight also left the commentators dumbfounded.
Earlier in 2023, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation had come under scrutiny due to similar referee mistakes during a local tournament. In a main event match in Fury FC in March, Edgar Chairez achieved a fourth-round submission victory over Gianni Vazquez. Texas referee Frank Colazzo didn’t intervene despite multiple spectators alerting him to Vazquez’s unconscious state due to an initial triangle, which transitioned into a gruesome armbar that ironically woke Vazquez up, allowing him to tap out several seconds later.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Referee Blunder
What event did the controversial referee decision occur?
The controversial decision occurred during the LFA 163 featherweight championship main event in Texas.
Who were the fighters involved in the LFA 163 main event?
The fighters involved in the LFA 163 main event were Javier Garcia and Elijah Johns.
What was the controversial decision made by the referee during the LFA 163 main event?
The referee, Joel Ojeda, prematurely ended the fight without Elijah Johns visibly tapping out, resulting in Javier Garcia winning the vacant title through a second-round submission.
What was the reaction to the referee’s decision during the LFA 163 main event?
Immediately after the stoppage, Elijah Johns protested the decision, and the commentators expressed shock at the abrupt end of the fight.
Has there been a similar referee mistake in Texas previously in 2023?
Yes, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation had come under scrutiny due to a similar mistake by referee Frank Colazzo during a Fury FC event in March 2023.