Referee refutes Jones/Belfort 'slam' allegations

Referee refutes Jones/Belfort 'slam' allegations
September 26th 2012

 The past weekend’s UFC event produced some amazing moments. In particular Vitor Belfort’s near-armbar on Jon Jones was a moment that shocked the world and nearly produced one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history.

Jones was able to escape the armbar and retain his title with a fourth-round submission of his own, but there has been a suggestion in some quarters that his escape was made via illegal means. Jones lifted Belfort up and slammed him to the floor, trying to shake off the hold, but was it against the rules?

His supporters say not but his detractors say it was an illegal slam, also known as spiking. However, that was not the view of the referee at the time and nor is the view of Belfort’s countryman, former UFC fighter and now referee Carlos Barreto.

“The rule is very clear. A slam is not legal but under the rules of the Athletic Commissions Jones’ act was not a slam. A slam is characterized by the aggressor throwing the opponent with his head towards the ground, putting the back and the physical health at risk,” he explained to Fighters Only this week.

“Jones didn't crush Vitor's head on the floor, so that was not a slam according to the official rules.”

So, that’s cleared that up. Jones fans can sleep soundly knowing their man defended his title by legitimate means - although an argument about the ‘morality’ of his side-kicks to opponents’ knee joints still rages on. Latest to add his voice to the fray was Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson who this week said Jones’ habit of using the kicks means he “has no honor”.


  • Pete

    Posted at 15:33 on September 27th 2012

    A "slam" is legal as the victim lands on their back. I don't think slams are mentioned in the unified rules or at least not in documentation produced by Marc Goddard. Where is he, by the way? What's his view on this.

    What Jon Jones supposedly did was not slam but "spike," known in professional wrestling as "piledriving." This involves the victim landing on thieir head and can result in serious neck injury. To do this intentionally is indeed illegal.

    Firstly, I'm not sure that Jon intentionally spiked Vitor. It looks more like he's shaking him off. Marc Goddard's guidance, from his referee seminars, is that even if, in this case, Jon has spiked Vitor it still wouldn't be illegal as Vitor had the option to let go to save himself. It would be illegal if Vitor's limbs were trapped and he couldn't save himself from the spike.

    All this said, I was hoping Vitor would get the win.

    Reply to comment

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