As we have pointed out before, it’s not altogether uncommon for an MMA referee to be mistakenly attacked by a dazed and confused fighter following a stoppage.
We have seen officials forced to fend off takedown attempts on multiple occasions over the years and a fortunately talented referee even had to display good head-movement to avoid the strikes of a fighter whose senses had just been scrambled by an illegal soccer-kick during a bout in Saipan last December.
However, an incidence of fighter-on-official violence that occurred at the close of a lightweight contest in Grand Rapids, Michigan last Friday night at KOP(Knockout Promotions) 54 was perhaps the most bizarre yet.
Joe Nehm stepped out to meet Ryse Brink at the centre of the cage and was almost immediately hurt by a front-kick to the head. Seconds later, after being battered by a brutal and varied barrage of strikes, Nehm was in an unconscious heap on the canvas. Referee Brandon Gallows stepped in to pull Brink away, but as he did, Nehm regained consciousness and the madness began.
Nehm, who had just lost his third straight bout to drop to 1-3 as a pro, dumped Gallows on the floor and took his back, before attempting to apply a rear-naked choke. In the end, Nehm’s own cornermen had to jump into the cage and physically stop the fighter from strangling the official, while explaining to him what had just happened. Eventually, Nehm reluctantly unhanded Gallows.
— Mike Allardyce (@mikedyce) March 24, 2017
With the win, Brink successfully rebounded from a submission defeat to Kenneth Cross in January and moved to 3-1 as a pro.