It may have been hilarious in the moment and terribly sad after the fact, but no matter which way you slice it, the Kimbo Slice-Dada 5000 fight at Bellator 194 was a train wreck. Neither fighter was in anything resembling fighting shape, and they staggered around each other for more than two rounds until Dada collapsed to the canvas. It was a spectacle, but not the good kind like you want, and even the referee, MMA veteran John McCarthy, was in shock at the sadness of it (courtesy of MMA Fighting).
“I honestly thought it would be over within the first round. And you know, when we got to the end of the first round, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this thing’s going to go all three rounds.'”
It’s an unenviable position to be officiating a fight between two guys clearly not up to the task, because McCarthy had to balance concerns for the fighters’ health with the very nature of fighting — letting two consenting adults duke it out until a winner is determined. And in McCarthy’s eyes, the fight itself wasn’t a particularly dangerous one:
“There was never anything that landed that was hard,” McCarthy said. “They didn’t hit each other with any hard shots. … Look, there are people that paid money to see this fight. This is not just about you laying on somebody because you’re both tired. That’s your fault for coming into the fight in that condition.”
Because McCarthy was unaware of Dada’s heart issues, he couldn’t have reasonably been expected to stop the fight because the fighters looked exhausted. Like us, all he could do was watch the disaster unfold.
(Via MMA Fighting)