Referee was knocked out during MMA fight before recovering to officiate the rest of the fight

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Referee Scott Manhardt was unprepared for a surprise at a MMA Super Cup semi final bout. He was knocked unconscious by a rolling thunder kick

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At the MMA press conference, fight breaks out

One mixed martial arts referee was struck by a rolling thunderkick while officiating in a fight. He managed to recover and continue the fight.

Scott Manhardt, IMAAF referee, was on duty at the MMA Super Cup in Bahrain for a semi-final match between Team Ireland and Team Mexico.

A lightweight clash between Ireland’s Lewis Byrne and Mexico’s Luis Gonzalez went back and forth for the first two rounds with both men enjoying their moments in the fight.

Gonzalez attempted to do a rolling thunderkick on Byrne at the end of the second round just as the horn was about to blow.

Manhardt intervened to stop Gonzalez throwing the strike after it rang. However, the unpredictability and impact of the kick meant that it hit directly on the head of the referee.

The referee fell on his back and was then thrown to the ground, as the two fighters stared puzzled at what had happened.

Manhardt was unconscious and looked like another referee might be required to supervise the remainder of the fight. But he managed to get to his feet again and continue officiating.

“Not even the refs are safe anymore,”Ireland’s Byrne was the one who wrote about it.

One user criticised the tardiness of the strike by writing: “Should be disqualified for going after the bell”.

Manhardt laughed off the knockout, posting: “Protect yourself at all times. PS. I got up and finished the fight.”

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Referee Manhardt was examined after the fight and his doctors confirmed that he had not sustained any lasting injuries.

Gonzalez was defeated by Byrne, who led Team Ireland to the final of MMA Super Cup.

Team Ireland will be facing Team Bahrain in final stage. Team Kazakhstan was defeated in the semifinal.

The MMA Super Cup is an event organized by Brave CF in Bahrain and IMMAF. It will take place next Saturday.