Foot caught in cage? Fight can be restarted – Options Herb Dean had
It was one of the strangest endings to a mixed martial arts contest in recent memory. This past Saturday night Jake Ellenberger’s toe became lodged in the octagon fencing at the Ultimate Fighter Season 24 Finale inside the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Opponent, Jorge Masvidal swarmed in to land a few punches and officiating referee Herb Dean put a halt to the contest.
🚨#JakeEllenberger perd 🆚 #JorgeMasvidal par TKO en se coinçant le pied dans le grillage de l’octogone ‼️Rd1. #Bizarre https://t.co/tm2k7SOqWp
At first it seemed as if Dean was stopping the clock to allow for Ellenberger to break free and adjust himself.
From there it would have been a mystery where Dean would have started the fight had it resumed. Would it have been standing or back down on the canvas with the possibility of “the Juggernaut” getting trapped again?
Those questions didn’t have an opportunity to be answered because Dean left the cage to speak with officials from the Nevada Athletic Commission. After a brief discussion, Jorge was given the TKO win since Jake couldn’t “intelligently defend himself.”
The problem however was that Ellenberger was not yet hurt by the punches and at the time he could somewhat defend himself, his priority was in getting his foot loose.
Working for Appeal and Rematch
“It was very bizarre. My foot got caught in the fence and I assumed it would be restarted. At least that’s how I understood it, ” said Jake during his Fox Sports 1 post-fight interview. “I could defend myself because my mind was clear and I assumed he would restart it. But then they told me it’s over, so i have no idea,” said Ellenberger.
As far as damage to his toe, Jake says it may be partially dislocated after it was lodged awkwardly in the fence. “They tell me it’s partially dislocated. I turned and my foot stayed thee in the fence. It was weird, it happened fast.”
“But, like I said, I assumed they would restart the fight but they told me it was over,” he added. Still, Jake says he won’t accept the loss on his record, as he intends to appeal the controversial call.
“We keep moving forward, that’s all we can do. Appeal and hopefully it gets turned into a no contest,” concluded Ellenberger.
Has it Happened Before? Other options
Each state’s rules in the unified rules of mixed martial arts vary? Wait…. what? How do rules vary if they are unified rules? They just do.
Had Dean temporarily stopped the fight allowing Ellenberger to break free, would anyone have batted an eye? Who knows? Would the commission have interfered and told Dean to end the fight? Not likely, but there is a slight chance that could have happened?
One likely ending that would have resulted is that because of the injury that Ellenberger sustained as a result of becoming stuck, that a ringside physician or Dean himself end the contest due to injury.
The possibilities are endless and the referee only has a split second to make that decision. Take a look at the fight below.
At around the 4:50 mark, in Pennsylvania, Mitch Killeen’s leg becomes trapped between the cage wall and the canvas. Referee Bill Bookwalter notices that the fighter is lodged and cannot break free. The fight is temporarily stopped and the contest resumes.
In this instance Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission Executive Director Greg Sirb stated that the fight should be resumed from the same position, which it was.
Killeen goes on to lose the fight via submission, but Palmer would have never been able to earn the victory in decisive fashion had the fight ended the under the same circumstances they did in Nevada on Saturday.
In the meantime, Ellenberger will file an appeal and there is a chance that the result will be overturned. Until then, look for Ellenberger vs. Masvidal 2 to be booked as both fighters are surely looking for resolution.
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