Better off safe than sorry?
After the fight had started, Claudinei Angelo lost his gum shield several times, the bout being stopped by the ref every time it happened. Last time Angelo’s gum shield fell down on the canvas after Angelo suffered severe punches from his opponent, Evilasio Silva. Silva blocked his front kick and then punched him to the ground, cutting skin under his eye. Angelo insisted that he dropped the shield occasionaly, but viewers stated that he deliberately spat it out to get some time to recover. And, honestly, it looks like he really did.
Anyway, neither the ref, nor the opponent understood what he wanted. Angelo got pretty angry and demanded a timeout. After the ref’s refusal he first started pacing around the cage like a hungry tiger and then tried to leave it. The door was locked so Angelo climbed the fence, jumped down and left the hall, accompanied by booing from the shocked and disappointed audience.
The key point is whether the ref should have stopped the fight. The answer is “no” or “not necessarily” – if a gum shield is spat out, the ref is advised to wait for the first opportunity for the fighter to replace it. A timeout is out of the question, no matter how desperately anyone asks for it. So let’s call a spade a spade – Claudinei Angelo shamefully fled from the arena.
It happened at Juiz de Fora Fight Evolution 13 on October 5th, 2013, the bout was ruled a TKO (retirement) and a year later, at JF Fight Evolution 14, there was a rematch. That time Angelo’s gum shield fit him better – he won the fight in the second round by TKO (punches).