It is rare for a professional in combat sports to step into the ring without knowing the rules of the contest. In some cases, competitors misunderstand the rules or the conditions that are stated in their contract.
This is what happened during an event hosted by ProBox TV. One athlete thought he had gotten into an eight-round boxing match. However, it was actually a six round contest and he was left very confused in his corner once the 6th round was over.
No one in his camp had any idea why the contest was limited to just six rounds. They were all arguing with the promoters and officials, who were telling him that he had signed a contract.
The promotion then resorted to bringing out the contract and showing him the details.
The commentator gave some context and said: “Well, he hasn’t been in a six-rounder since 2018.” Based on this, it could be true that the boxer may not be aware of the stipulations of the bout.
But this isn’t the only controversy that’s happened before a boxing contest.
While this particular boxer had signed on the dotted line, there’s one who claimed he never got a contract in the first place. Back in 2018, Curtis Harper was disqualified for exiting the ring before the match started.
He had received the ref’s instructions and had even touched gloves with his opponent. He left the squared circle as soon as the bell rang. People speculated that Harper was afraid of getting knocked out by his opponent Efe Ajagba.
However, he revealed that he didn’t actually receive a contract for the bout, which was refuted by the booking agent. He also felt disrespected by the matchmaker standing in his opponent’s corner. Harper later revealed that he didn’t like his purse, so he didn’t compete.
Another notable example was former UFC interim bantamweight champion Petr Yan. Yan infamously threw a knee to the head of a grounded opponent and lost his title to Aljamain Sterling who blamed it on a concussion. Yan was cornered by Russian teammates, and received instructions in Russian except for one man – American Top Team’s Parrumpa, who immediately grabbed his head.
In any case, competing without a full understanding of the rules can be dangerous for the competitor and their opponent. It is essential that all participants have a clear understanding of the conditions of their contract and the regulations governing the sport before competing.
Syed Ali Fazeel is an accomplished MMA fan, and writer. He discovered MMA in his youth and has been following the sport since TUF season 1.