Arkansas State Athletic Commission suspends referee and fighter after in cage incident

 In the aftermath of a tumultuous MMA event in Hot Springs, the Arkansas State Athletic Commission convened a special meeting to address the issues that arose during two particular matches. The event, known as Real Deal Championship 10, showcased a total of 15 bouts, but it was the turn of events in two matches that led to a thorough review by the commission.

Commissioners, during the meeting, emphasized the importance of adhering to rules, expressing concern that the event had cast a shadow on the reputation of fighting in Arkansas. Describing it as a black eye, they voiced their opinion that the entire event had spiraled out of control.

A complaint filed against the event specifically highlighted bout number five between Phillip Roberts and Caleb McCauley. The commission scrutinized the match, noting that Roberts landed 21 unanswered strikes on McCauley. Concerns were raised about the referee, John Munns, who allegedly allowed 14 of those strikes to occur after McCauley had already hit the floor.

Commissioners criticized Munns, stating that he was asked multiple times to assess the situation and potentially stop the fight. They argued that Munns, positioned too far from the action, allowed the match to continue longer than it should have.

The commission’s scrutiny extended to the final fight of the event, featuring Robert Gidron and Chauncey Foxworth. Allegedly, Munns disqualified Gidron shortly after a punch, with the commission contending that both Gidron and Munns violated multiple rules.

The general rules breached included interference with an official’s duties and the use of abusive language or conduct disrespectful towards officials. Dr. John Erwin, one of the commissioners, criticized Munns for what he deemed inappropriate treatment of Gidron. Erwin suggested that instead of assaulting the fighter, Munns should have intervened differently.

As a result, the commission passed two motions to address the situation. Munns is mandated to undergo anger management and a referee refresher before being eligible to reapply for his license. Gidron, facing suspension for 45 days and a $100 fine, has the opportunity to appeal the decision within 15 days. The commission made it clear that failure to fulfill these requirements would lead to the full revocation of Munns’ referee status. Both Munns and Gidron have a 15-day window to appeal the commission’s decisions. The outcome of this meeting signifies the commission’s commitment to upholding standards in MMA events within the state of Arkansas.