Going after a referee will always be a lose-lose situation for any fighter. In America, a mere shove can send you packing from the biggest organization in the world.
But in the far East, the consequences are a bit heftier.
Iranian welterweight Razi Jabbari learned that the hard way when he faced hometown hero Honorio Banario at URCC Baguio 3: Invasion on February 19, 2011, in Baguio City, Philippines.
Entering the bout, Jabbari was on a four-fight losing streak. He was supposedly given a warning by the local athletic commission Games and Amusements Board that another loss would cost him his fighting license in the country.
It also didn’t help that Jabbari was already a disliked figure in the local scene. He was apparently banned from a sports complex in Manila after he got into a fight with an official a while back. Other accounts claim that he was acting up during the weigh-ins, showing hostile behavior towards hosts and fellow competitors.
His frustrations only mounted inside the ring when Banario forced him to tap to strikes in the first round. So when referee Joey Lepiten asked both fighters to shake hands as a sign of sportsmanship post-fight, a fed-up Jabbari was having none of it.
A Korn song blasts through the speakers, the two men share some words, Jabbari shoves Lepiten, and all hell breaks loose. A few moments later, in comes URCC chief promoter and Kazeka Muniz black belt Alvin Aguilar, who got behind the fighter and put him to sleep with a rear-naked choke.
Other officials, including the ring announcer, broke up the melee as Jabbari slumped over to the side.
The incident pretty much spelled the end of Jabbari’s career, and his license to fight in the country was permanently revoked. Banario, on the other hand, went on to become a one-time featherweight titleholder at ONE Championship.
Just another day in the world of MMA.
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