MMA is a strange sport, as Keith “KO Kid” Berry has no doubt come to appreciate over the past week. One can be a 21 fight veteran of the sport, yet receive more attention as the result of a Herb Dean blooper than at any other time in an otherwise respectable career.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, allow me to take you back a few days to the prelims of Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kauffman.
At around the 40 second mark of his bout with Adlan Amagov, Berry received a push kick to the knee that buckled him. Sensing the finish, Amagov rushed in and started delivering punches—most of which were blocked, it should be added.
As Herb Dean loomed over the pair, Berry turned to him and began talking in an effort to reassure the referee that he was perfectly fine. Unfortunately, the normally reliable Dean interpreted the “KO Kid’s” chattiness as a verbal submission, stopping the fight at the 48 second mark of the first round.
Much booing ensued, and the replay justified the crowd’s displeasure. It showed a coherent Keith Berry intelligently defending himself while, apparently, holding a conversation with the referee.
Herb Dean explained a few moments later that he thought Berry may have been indicating to him, “I’m out, I’m out!” But let’s be honest, if a fighter can intelligently defend himself and hold a conversation while unconscious, he needs to donate his brain to medical science for further research.
All in all, this may end up being a good thing for the Team Quest fighter, who has fought and scratched his way to one of the MMA’s top organisations. Herb Dean has already suggested that he will back Berry’s attempts to get the result changed to a no contest.
Perhaps more importantly, last Saturday’s controversial ending received a lot of attention from the MMA media and the fans on Twitter. Exposing yourself to a wider audience is never a bad thing, even if it comes during a controversial loss.
Currently living in California, Berry trains with the legendary Team Quest alongside MMA luminaries like Dan Henderson. Set up by Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and Matt Lindland in 1999, Team Quest quickly established itself as one of the premier fight teams, particularly for those seeking to improve their wrestling base.
Given the team’s reputation as an MMA powerhouse, there is no doubting the “KO Kid’s” credentials. And if he is anything like Team Quest’s founders, you can be sure that he will be looking to erase the indignity of last Saturday’s “loss” as soon as possible.