In every sport, referees are entrusted with maintaining order and ensuring fair play.
However, like all human beings, they can make mistakes. In mixed martial arts, referees have made some notable errors that have affected the outcome of bouts.
A recent Bellator MMA event held on May 12, 2023, in Paris, France, was marred by a referee’s big mistake, which halted a lightweight bout between Saul Rogers and Davy Gallon prematurely.
The Event and the Bout
Bellator 296, held at the Accor Arena, was a highly anticipated event featuring some of the top MMA stars, including middleweight star Gegard Mousasi and Fabian Edwards. Every match on the card was intense and exciting, except for the Rogers-Gallon lightweight bout on the preliminary card.
The action began with Rogers demonstrating his superior grappling skills, quickly taking down Gallon and dominating him on the ground. Within just two minutes of the first round, Rogers locked Gallon in a D’Arce submission, hoping to submit him. Gallon, however, defended well and waited for an opportunity to escape.
The Referee’s Mistake
As the two struggled on the ground, referee Jacob Montalvo halted the action, believing that Gallon went out Unfortunately, he had misjudged the situation, as Gallon was still very much awake. Montalvo broke the action and awarded the win to Rogers, only to discover that Gallon was still awake and able to continue.
Gallon was visibly confused and protested to the referee that he was still defending. After a brief discussion, the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation and the French MMA Federation decided to overturn the result to a no-contest.
This decision was a huge disappointment for Rogers, who had already raised his hand in victory, having dominated Gallon and come within seconds of winning the bout.