Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 9/1/13
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Titan Fighting Championship 26 went down Friday night at Union Station Sprint Festival Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri featuring six fights on the card and all were televised on AXS TV. There were some exciting fights and the usual great broadcast coverage from Michael Schiavello and Pat Miletich. Unfortunately, some horrible judging and refereeing completely marred the night and almost got somebody hurt badly. The Missouri commission needs to take a hard look at the judges, referee Mike England, and they should suspend referee Rusty Sullivan. The night started out with Mike England stopping the Bobby Cooper and Codale Ford fight for a blow to the back of the head in the first round. He formally warned Ford but did not take a point. The fighters were in a scramble and Ford threw a left hook that slightly grazed the back of Cooper's head. Cooper ducked forward to avoid the punch and seemed puzzled by the stoppage. It was not a horrible call, but it seemed strange to stop the fight when usually a referee will warn a fighter, "to watch the back of the head." They usually do not stop the fight without any damage in these situations. Later on Ford caught Cooper square on the nut sack with a inside leg kick. Again, Cooper was moving backward to avoid the kick and brought his pills into range. England warned him and said the next one would result in a point deduction even though he acknowledged that he did not throw it intentionally. The rest of the fight went smoothly from this stand point and the fight was given to the judges to score. This is where the judges brought their own ridiculousness by awarding a UD to Cooper who looked visibly shocked by the decision, you could even see that he felt bad for Ford. When the winner of the decision is surprised then it is a bad decision. This was not that close of a fight it was clear Ford won the first two rounds and Cooper the third. Now Ford has a loss on his career and is one step further away from moving up the MMA ladder. It is wrong when part time people can affect fighter's careers with their poor judging or refereeing. This combination teamed up again to put a similar stain on the main event. In this case Dennis Hallman and Dan Hornbuckle were in a clinch when Hornbuckle threw and landed a knee to the stomach. Hallman crumbled and the ref stepped in. Hallman is saying it was low and England agrees giving him five minutes to recover. Miletich and Schiavello do not think that it was low and a replay is shown. They call out to twitter and report that the majority think it was not a low blow and on the replay the knee clearly hits the stomach. Now the grey area is the shin could have caught the cup or the nuts. There is a lot that can happen in this area as any guys who has twisted his nuts up in the elastic of his underwear, or caught them in the seam of a pair of jeans can attest. What is clear in this case again was intent. Hornbuckle not only targeted the stomach - he landed the knee there and any other contact was inadvertent. England steps in and took a point away from Hornbuckle. This is stupid and inconsistent on his part. This leads to a 28-28 and two scores of 29-27 for Hallman who gets the MD win. Here is what he said to Miletich in the post fight interview, "Dan hits real hard. We all stand up here and look at the judges scorecards and I won the bout, but we all know who won the fight."  gain we have a fighter who was awarded the win but did not think himself that he won the fight. It is another situation where a win for Hornbuckle puts him closer to the UFC now he falls back. As horrible as these calls and decisions were they paled in comparison to what referee Rusty Sullivan did to Roy Babcock in one of the earlier fights. It was more a matter what he did not do and that is stopping this fight. There is no defending his lack of actions in this situation. If he did not know that Babcock was out then he should not be a referee. He actually forced Alex White to hit Babcock after he was out. It was late in the second round and White was on top in Babcock's full guard when he postured up and landed a clean left hand right to the chin that instantly stiffened up Babcock. His head went back and his hands were half in front of him and they swayed slightly. White knew he was out looked at Sullivan and raised his arms like, why are you not stopping this fight. Five seconds passed with Sullivan staring straight down at Babcock who just laid there not moving much less defending himself. White threw another half-hearted punch almost despairingly. He clearly did not want to hit him again. Mercifully the bell rang and to prove how clueless he was to what was happening, he gestured for Babcock to get up when the bell rang. He still did not realize that Babcock was out and could not stand up. Schiavello and Miletich were going nuts screaming that he was out. Let me be clear, the ref is leaning over staring at him and did not realize he was out. Miletich explains that there are a lot of people out there who do not understand that just because the eyes are open someone can be out. That is true and none of those people should be referees in combat sports. The only reason that Babcock did not get hurt worse was because White knew he was out and showed great sportsmanship. It is scary to think if he did not or was lost in the moment in a frenzy, because it is apparent that Sullivan was not ready to step in. This cannot be allowed to happen again because sooner or later it will end tragically. Mistakes happen inside of the cage and out. They will always be apart of our lives and sports, and when those errors cause someone to lose who should not, it is a bad thing. When they are supposed to protect the fighters and instead they force more damage it is horrible. We are very lucky it was not a tragedy this time.
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