Nathan Coy can be thankful for the cageside presence of Jon Anik and Brian Stann.
The pair of UFC commentators could well have saved the welterweight from serious injury with their vocal intervention on Saturday night.
Coy was submitted by hometown favourite, Zak Cummings, in Kansas City but the referee unfortunately needed a helping hand in recognising that the fight was over.
A watertight guillotine choke forced Coy into unconsciousness in the first round but the official in charge of the bout, Mike England, failed to see that he was out.
— UFC Fight Pass (@UFCFightPass) April 15, 2017
Former UFC middleweight Brian Stann, who was offering colour commentary for UFC on FOX 24, immediately saw that Coy was unconscious while his calls for the fight to be stopped were quickly joined by Jon Anik, who shouted “Stop the fight sir!” when he saw Coy go limp.
It seemed like everyone in the arena knew that Coy was unconscious before the referee. His opponent certainly did.
“I knew he was out, but I don’t stop until the ref stops me,” Cummings said after his victory.
“It’s a tough thing because I’ve had fights where they’ve tapped, I let go, and the ref didn’t see it. It’s happened to me personally.
“It’s one of those where I knew he was out, but some guys play those little games where they’ll start breathing weird, or they’ll do stuff, and you’ll loosen up, and they wake up real fast. Really, I don’t stop until the ref stops me.”
The win was Cummings’ sixth in the UFC and came via his second consecutive submission.
The 32-year-old admitted that it is a frightening thought that referees can take so long before saving unconscious fighters but also insisted that he has no choice but to keep fighting until he is sure that the contest is over.
“He was out quite a while, I think, before they stopped it,” Cummings added.
“I knew I had it immediately, but I was just happy to get it before the bell rang.
“I hate it. It scares me. But I don’t stop. You can’t do it.”