A horrendous judgment call by an official at AX Combat 1 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada nearly cost Kim Couture her life.
In a transitional battle on the ground, Couture found herself ensnared in a leg scissor choke by grappling ace Sheila Bird. After a couple of desperate escape attempts, Couture quickly succumbed to the airtight submission hold.
It's seen time and time again in MMA. A fighter gets choked out, and the referee quickly steps in to save the day. Sure, there are times when a fight could've been called a tad sooner or later, but the actions of the referee of the Couture and Bird bout could've presented a major step back for an already ridiculed sport.
The video above shows a horrific scene. Couture is clearly unconscious for several seconds before the referee decides to step in and stop the bout. The choke occurs around the two-minute mark.
Thankfully, there wasn't any serious harm done and Couture was able to leave the ring on her own accord.
"I'm fine," Couture told MMAWeekly.com. "I woke up, and I thought the fight was still going on. Once I realized what was happening, I stood up and waved to the crowd, but I'm fine."
Even though Couture walked away healthy, the situation is currently under investigation by the Calgary Commission.
Commission representative Shirley Stunzi issued a statement to MMAWeekly through email about the situation.
"This matter is under review by the Calgary Combative Sports Commission, and until a thorough investigation has been conducted, there will be no further comment."