Calgary Says No More Action to be Taken After Controversial Kim Couture Stoppage
By FCF Staff
After launching an investigation into the questionable stoppage that brought an end to a July 8th bout between Kim Couture and Sheila Bird, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission has ruled in favour of referee Len Koivisto. A press release from the Commission has announced that:
After an in-depth investigation, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission members rendered a decision to support the official, Mr. Len Koivisto. No further action or investigations into the officiating of Mr. Koivisto will be required by the Commission.
While competing on an AX Combat card in Calgary, Bird caught Couture in a leg scissors choke, which left the fighter unconscious for several seconds before Koivisto intervened. When footage of the bout circulated on the internet many fans and insiders from the sport were outraged by the late stoppage.
When FCF spoke with Couture after, the fighter did voice some concerns regarding referee education, but called for restraint in what she believed wasn’t “a big deal.”
“I can only speak for how I feel, and once it was over, I got up and let everyone know I was okay,” Couture said, who could be seen having convulsions after the bout was stopped. “There was no trip to the hospital, there were no stitches, there was no ambulance. I went out with my opponent and her husband and got some food.”
FCF also spoke with promoter Steve Fader after the incident, and while he also conceded that improvements could be made in referee training and that the late stoppage was extremely unfortunate, he also questioned those who were calling for Koivisto’s dismissal.
“Len Koivisto has been around enough that he could have refereed that fight,” Fader told FCF recently. “You know honestly man, you put any kind of experienced referee in that situation; when’s the last time you saw anyone put a scissors choke on anybody?”
“For him not to have made the decision in that short period of time, which seemed like a long period of time, I definitely don’t t think this guy should be crucified for this,” Fader added. “I don’t want to say it’s an honest mistake, as obviously there are signs that he should have been looking for to see whether she was out…he should be paying attention to everything, not necessarily just her eyes.”
The press release from the Calgary Commission states that Koivisto has been a combative sports official for 23 years and that he has reportedly officiated close to 400 MMA bouts.
The organization added:
We have an expectation that our officials will remain current in the rules and regulations and are always seeking to improve their skills through courses and seminars. Recognized training programs are relatively new to the industry and are only recently being adopted by many Commissions. A list of approved trainers only came into fruition last year.
The Calgary based AX Combat is expecting to promote its next event in September.