Athletes in all sports are taught to play until the whistle blows, or until the referee says stop.
But because MMA fighter Chad George decided not to pay attention to that rule, not only was a potentially dangerous situation averted, but he left the cage in Irvine, California, following his win over Mark Vorgeas at Bellator 136 on Friday with a greatly enhanced reputation.
George had his opponent pinned in a chokehold with over a minute left in the first round at Bellator 136 this week.
When it appeared that he had successfully choked out his opponent, Mark Vorgeas, George had to make a tough decision when the referee Milan Ayers didn’t immediately call the fight.
George made the decision to stop choking Vorgeas — and then actually had to plead with the ref to put an end to the fight.
“He’s out!” George can be heard screaming.
“No he’s not!” the ref replied, taking a step closer to analyze the situation.
“Yes he is! Yes he is! He’s out!” the fighter urged, releasing his grip on Vorgeas completely and backing away.
Finally, the referee realized George was right and Vorgeas wasn’t moving, and he called the fight.
“I have never seen that before in my life! They were literally arguing over whether or no he was out!” one of the announcers said. “He was completely out!”
Watch the video below:
George would have been well within his rights to keep the choke on or do some ground and pound on Vorgeas until Ayers decided to stop the fight. But he chose to take the sportsmanlike route.
George said the fight was over and he’d done his job.
“Clearly, the fight was over and I didn’t want to cause any more damage than needed to be done,” George told Yahoo Sports. “I would hope someone would do the same for me if the roles were reversed. We both have families to go home to. This is a tough business and we know what can happen. You sometimes see a guy get a knockout and walk away, but in this case, I was fortunate to be able to get a submission and walk away.”
He said he wasn’t angry with Ayers and didn’t criticize the official for failing to see what was going on.
“It wasn’t frustrating that [Ayers] didn’t see it,” George said. “I knew it was over and it was more like, I wanted to get out of there and get back to my family and friends and all of the people who had supported me. That’s really what it was. I was in a way caught between a rock and a hard place.
“Do I act on emotion and rain down punches on him that could cause serious damage, or do I show I’m a professional. I knew I could walk away and I made the judgment call. We’re professionals and we’re not in there to hurt anyone or do any more damage than is needed to win the fight. The fight was won and when it was over, it was over and I felt it was important to end it there.”