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One referee found out what it’s like to be on the receiving end of punishment inside the cage
‘Protect yourself at all times’ is a mantra adopted by MMA fighters the world over, but referee Scott Manhardt found out that the slogan should be heeded by officials too after he was caught with a stray kick during a recent contest.
Manhardt was refereeing the matchup between Mexico’s Luis Enrico Gonzalez Martinez and Ireland’s Luis Byrne at the IMMAF Super Cup 2022 in Bahrain when he found himself getting a bit too close to the action.
As the horn sounded for the end of the round, Martinez went for the spectacular by unleashing a rolling thunder kick.
The only problem was that Manhardt was standing in the way and bore the brunt of the Mexican’s right foot flush across his face.
The blow sent the referee to the canvas although thankfully he regained his senses and was able to see out the bout – which Byrne went on to win via decision.
Manhardt even found time to make light of the incident afterwards, posting the clip on social media and bringing up the fighting adage of never dropping your guard.
The MMA Super Cup is an inaugural team-based event taking place in Bahrain, and is organized by the Brave Combat Federation in association with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.
Ireland and Bahrain have booked their spots in Saturday’s final, while Mexico and Kazakhstan will contest the bronze-medal match.