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Open Discussion: Should Vets Get More Respect from Referees?

On the heels of namely the Karo Parisyan stoppage last night I’ve had a couple of arguments with people that I’d like some feedback on. Namely, should veteran fighters get extra credit when it comes to stoppages?

Let me start by saying I don’t like Karo Parisyan. At all. I only state this as to show this has nothing to do with bias or the fights last night in particular.

Should a veteran fighter who has put so much time in and has so much experience get an extra second before a stoppage than a rookie fighter? This is not unprecedented, look at how stars are treated in all sports. If you so much as smiled at Michael Jordan you were called for a foul. Randy Moss shoves off his defender on almost every pass play. God forbid you so much as touch Peyton Manning or Tom Brady…. but feel free to brutally helmet-to-helmet David Carr, no one will care. And regardless of what you think, the strike zone for Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Theriot are not the same size.

But isn’t that good? That’s what makes stars and gives us more entertaining games or fights. Why shouldn’t a grizzled veteran like Matt Hughes or Minotauro Nogueira get that extra shot to make SURE they’re out? They’ve put in years of work, had dozens of fights, they’ve held multiple titles. This is their career, their goal, their livelihood. I have a feeling if you asked them whether they’d be willing to take one extra unnecessary shot or risk a fight behind called too early they’d take A.

Look, no one is asking for a Yoshida/Thompson murder match. Speaking of which that referee still needs to be charged. Just give these guys that have given so much to the sport the respect of making sure they’re out before you say they are prematurely. Look at Herring/Nogueira. That fight could have easily been called after the Herring kick but wasn’t. Had the ref hopped in to save Nog he wouldn’t have gotten the title shot. He wouldn’t be UFC Heavyweight Champion. All because a referee wanted to save him from a situation where he didn’t need to be saved. Think how the entire landscape of MMA would have changed based on that one decision. No discussing if Nog is the best heavyweight. There would be more PRIDE bashing. We’d go from UFC Champion Nog to “guy that couldn’t even beat Heath Herring.”

I know reffing this sport is incredibly difficult and I respect the decisions those guys have to make on a daily basis. But isn’t that why other sports began using instant replay? So I’m asking you, should veterans get that extra respect to let them fight out of it?

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