Video: Texas referee blunder leads to puzzling premature stoppage in LFA 163 main event

Another fight in the state of Texas ended in controversy due to a referee blunder.

In the featherweight championship main event of Friday’s LFA 163 event, which took place at Bell County Expo Center at streamed on UFC Fight Pass, Javier Garcia captured the vacant belt with a second-round submission win over Elijah Johns. The bout may be in the record books with that result, but referee Joel Ojeda was quick on the trigger and stopped the bout without an actual tap from Johns.

Check out the video of the fight’s ending in the video below.

Immediately after the stoppage, Johns protested it and seemed fully coherent, but it was too late. The commentators were also stunned with how the bout came to its conclusion.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has already been under fire for a referee blunder in 2023 due to the refereeing at a local show. In March, Edgar Chairez earned a fourth-round submission win over Gianni Vazquez in the main event of Fury FC, and Texas referee Frank Colazzo watched on as multiple people screamed at him that Vazquez was unconscious due to the initial triangle, before transitioning to a horrific armbar that actually woke Vazquez up so he could tap out several seconds later.