As MMA fights go, strange finishes are kind of the norm. Often it looks like one fighter has an edge until he gets dropped out of nowhere by an opponent who seemed all but done for.
Even still, what took place at LFA 36 on Friday night registers as one of the wildest endings to a bout in recent memory.
Drew Chatman, a 23-year-old making his pro debut, was all but handed a victory after his opponent, Irvins Ayala knocked himself out on Chatman’s knee while trying to land a blow. That should’ve been the end of it, but Chatman found a way to get himself disqualified immediately following the knockout.
It’s easily the most unsportsmanlike conduct you’ll see in an octagon.
— AXS TV Fights (@AXSTVFights) March 24, 2018
That’s Chatman popping up, stepping onto the back of an unconscious Ayala and front flipping off his opponent. The referee didn’t hesitate to take the victory away from Chatman and the fighter has since been suspended 90 days by the California State Athletic Commission per MMAfighting.com. His pay is also being withheld for the bout.
Chatman has been pretty contrite in his comments since the incident and agreed that he didn’t deserve to be paid for the fight telling MMA Fighting, “It’s disappointing watching that. My mother has to see that. People that look up to me and see me become an inspiration to them have to look at that. Even though I’m not a champion so to speak, but I overcame a lot of things and I became something that I never thought I would become. Just to have my first pro fight is crazy, because I didn’t think I’d ever be on this level. It just happened so fast.”
The fighter said he usually celebrates his wins by doing some sort of acrobatic move — either a flip or a cartwheel in the octagon — and was completely caught up in the moment when he dove off of Ayala.
“I want to apologize to Irvins Ayala,” Chatman continued. “He was a good opponent. And he brought the fight to me. And he had a lot of heart. It was not a good move on my part as a martial artist. And I want to apologize to the California athletic commission, because they laid down the rules, they gave a great understanding and they do their job very well. Also, to Legacy, LFA, because they gave me a great opportunity to display my skills and it was a good platform.”
It certainly seems as though Chatman has thoroughly processed what he did and why he’s being painted as the villain. Here’s to hopping we never see a fight end like this again.
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