Referee Beaten Following MMA Bout

By Chris Nelson Nov 17, 2010
A bizarre scene unfolded inside Tokyo’s Differ Ariake arena on Nov. 7 as Japanese promotion Grachan staged its fifth show.

In the second half of that day’s marathon 23-bout event, local fighter Takeo Shiina (a.k.a. “Cerberus Take”) met South Korean Jung Hyun Lee in a lightweight contest. Before the fight began, both men postured and stared one another down as they were introduced by the ring announcer. The bell rang and the fighters began to tussle as, in standard Grachan fashion, music continued to blare away in the background.

Thirty seconds into the match, Lee lobbed a right leg kick and Shiina landed a counter left hand which sent his opponent crumpling to the canvas. In an unsportsmanlike but certainly not unprecedented move, Shiina pounced on his defenseless opponent and continued to rain down punches. What happened next went far beyond “unsportsmanlike.”

As veteran referee Samio Kimura leapt into the fray to rescue Lee from further damage, Shiina continued to pound away, landing shots to both Lee’s face and the back of Kimura’s head before kicking the referee out of the way to continue his assault. Officials threw open the door of the cage and additional referees flooded in, along with the corners of both men.

When Shiina was finally pried loose by a teammate, who then restrained him against the fence, the cage announcer declared Shiina the winner by referee stoppage at 33 seconds of the first round. Shiina mounted the cage and the crowd cheered. Meanwhile, both Lee and Kimura remained prone on the mat.

Suddenly apologetic, Shiina knelt down in front of his opponent before being confronted by one of Lee’s corners, Dream and Deep veteran Won Sik Park. “Parky” met Shiina’s apparent explanation with an icy glare before seeming to gesture that he’d like a piece of Shiina himself.

As medics entered with a stretcher for Lee, Japanese fighter Shoji Maruyama rebuked Shiina from outside the cage.

“You don’t get what you did wrong,” Maruyama scolded. “You apologize to the referee first, not the fighter.”

Shiina acknowledged Maruyama’s words, but referee Kimura was still on the ground and in no condition to hear an apology as “Cerberus” stood over him. Another Grachan official took to the microphone and amended the result.

“Normally, Shiina would be the winner by knockout, but he got overheated and he knocked out the referee, too,” he explained. “So, we have disqualified him.”

Finally, Shiina addressed the crowd and offered faint apologies for his actions.

“Sorry I got too heated. I focus too much on my opponent, so I can’t see anything else. I don’t remember punching the referee. I’ll knock my opponent out normally next time,” Shiina said.

Formed from the ashes of defunct South Korean promotion Gladiator, Grachan (a bastardized portmanteau of “Gladiator” and “Challenge”) modeled itself after Japan’s premier “gangsta fight” event, Rings’ The Outsider.

Special thanks to Shiroobi of Skill MMA (http://skillmma.blogspot.com) for his assistance with this article.
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