Referee explains disqualifying Miyao and Keenan in WPJJC

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The two brown belt absolute finalists in WPJJC 2013 were disqualified for lack of combativeness by referee Luciano Mendes. Photo:Dan Rod/ GracieMag

The fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi WPJJC was last weekend, but it still echoes strongly in conversations at gyms and the GRACIEMAG website.

Besides the big fight between champion Marcus Buchecha and Rodolfo Vieira and the invincibility of Gabi Garcia, the brown belt absolute final generated a strong repercussion.

Keenan Cornelius faced, once again, the light Paulo Miyao, until the gold medal dispute ended in unusual ways. The referee of the fight, black belt from Nova União Luciano Mendes opted to disqualify both the athletes for lack of combativeness. Keenan and Paulo had their legs tangled when it comes to the crunch.

Correct decision? Or hasty? Right or not? Leave your opinion. But before commenting, please read Luciano’s explanation for his decision to GRACIEMAG:

“Both finalists were passive and weren’t seeking for points or submissions. With this, I am bound by the rule, after every 20 seconds of inactivity, to punish them. The rule constantly undergoes adjustments, as occurred recently. It is important that all competitors read and do the courses run by the IBJJF, all referees trained by the mentioned institution are able to fulfill what is in our regulation. So my criterion was adopted based on the existing rule, as usual,” says Luciano.

With the disqualification of both, the WPJJC organization opted to raise Kaue Damasceno (Nova União), who then placed third, to the absolute title, so the athlete pocketed the first place prize offered. The decision turned out to generate more controversy over the referee, accused on social networks to have eliminated finalists, favoring his brown belt teammate.

Luciano rejected such criticism, noting that nothing in the rules says that third place would be the new champion:

“Regarding the fact that the athlete placed third became the champion, this decision was by the organization of the event and it wasn’t my competence. On social networks, there are many different opinions about the disqualification; everyone is entitled to think what they want. I repeat: I only performed what was written in the rule,” defends Luciano.

The referee now says he hopes the athletes become more familiarized with the rules, so they won’t be taken by surprise anymore: “Every athlete has to study the rule and adapt to the game. Cases of lack of combativeness must always be punished strictly and all referees are trained for that.”

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There are 21 comments for this article
  1. Jon Dizzo at 2:39 am

    Bad call. "lack of combativeness" is subjective. Why has no other ref disqualified them in their other matches if it wasn't. If you are not a fan of the techniques they use when fighting eachother, then don't watch.

  2. Prz Bor at 8:54 am

    I agree with the ref. Their tactics are so lame. Just sit on their ass and making crap. I saw other fights of miyao and he is doing it all the time. This is shit, not BJJ.

    • Sabrina E Ricardo at 3:32 pm

      ye, its not the fisrt time that i see Miyao fight with that ugly stretagy – sory my english but you no wath i mean!

  3. Bianca Genesini Parrish at 7:21 pm

    Good for you Luciano. Thank god we have guys like Mendes, Rodolpho, Cobrinha, Buchecha (the list goes on and on) to watch. Rafael will berimbolo, play from his back, and play 50/50, but when he has an opportunity, he sits up, takes the top position, attacks, and aggressively passes guard like a jiu jitsu player should. That's what I want to see.

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