Whether judging or refereeing, officiating fights is no easy task … but sometimes the action just couldn’t be clearer.

At Cage Conflict 8 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this past weekend (Oct. 15, 2022), Welterweight prospects, Troy Gibson and Vadim Kolesnikov, battled it out. Gibson wound up earning his first career win in what was his professional debut. Unfortunately, it came in a less-than-ideal manner.

Holding Kolesnikov in side control, Gibson absorbed an illegal knee strike from the bottom. Then another and another and another … until Kolesnikov damaged Gibson enough to get his opponent up and off him, landing a big right hand, flooring Gibson. A few follow-up shots came from Kolesnikov before the referee, Peter Lavery, finally showed any signs of life or vision.

Despite the clear lack of situational understanding from Lavery, the fight was rightfully ruled a disqualification win for Gibson. Kolesnikov dropped to 0-3 with the victory and perhaps at this rate he was just looking for a win by any means as he too should have understood the illegality of the maneuver repeated.

The 26-year-old Gibson (9-2 amateur) will aim to get a significantly cleaner victory in his sophomore appearance. It’s unclear if the promotion will try to book a rematch between Gibson and Kolesnikov, but both have circled each other in the Cage Conflict and Clan Wars promotions in recent years.