An MMA bout in Brazil almost ended in the death of a fighter, after an irresponsible referee allowed a chokehold to stay in place for 90 seconds.

The main event of the Demolidor Fight saw Melquizael Costa and Rafael Barbosa face each other for the featherweight title, and the latter looked to have sealed the win with an anaconda choke that left his opponent lifeless.

Unfortunately, the fighter was so out of it that he wasn’t able to tap out, and the referee didn’t take notice of his limp body.

Costa said he could’ve died, had the hold stayed in for much longer.

“My corner and his corner yelled that I was out, but the referee said he would only stop the fight if I was out,” Costa told MMA Fighting.

“And I was! Every referee touches the fighter to see if they are out, but he never touched me. My opponent stopped the fight. Otherwise, I would be dead.”