MMA News: Referee Faces Lifetime Ban After Assaulting Fighter

In MMA, the third man in the cage is typically responsible for the safety of both fighters, though In this instance, the referee was part of the action.

At RDC 10 in Arkansas on January 20, referee Jon Munz got into a heated physical altercation with Robert Gidron, a professional middleweight fighter.

During the fight, Gidron grabbed the fence while being taken down – which is a foul in MMA. Munz broke up the fighters to address the fence grab, and Gidron gave Munz a little shove. It then escalated as Munz confronted Gidron with a finger in his face and shoved him hard against the cage. Gidron retaliated with a short punch — Munz rebounded and waved the fight off. A small brawl broke out before everything blew over.

You can watch the video below, courtesy of Gidron and MMAJunkie:

“I didn’t mean to grab the cage,” Gidron told MMA Junkie. “You can see in the video: When I went to grab the cage, as soon as I grabbed the cage and stood up, as he’s running toward me, I’m throwing my hands up. That tells you I already did wrong. I messed up. Most refs when they grab you, they say, ‘Stop, stop, stop.’

“He ran and put his forearm in my throat. …. As I pushed him off, he came right back and said, ‘Hey, I’ll throw your ass out of here. I’m the ref. You don’t put your f*cking hands on me.’ That’s when I said, ‘You don’t put your forearm in my throat. You don’t do that.’ That’s when he pushed me.

“When he pushed me, it’s just a reflex,” Gidron said of hitting Munz. [h/t MMAJunkie]

According to local news station KATV, the Arkansas State Athletic Commission held a “special meeting” to discuss the event. Commissioner Dr. John Erwin believes Munz “physically assaulted” Gidron, and the fighter was “just protecting himself.” The commission passed the motion for Munz to take anger management and a referee refresher course before reapplying for his license – which could still be denied.

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Mathew Riddle