An MMA referee has been suspended after allowing an amateur fighter to be knocked out THREE times during a bout in Brazil.
Kleber Lopes allowed the fight to continue despite Michael Douglas hitting the deck from a vicious kick just 11 seconds into the match-up.
The attacking strike, from Jessian Lucas, sent soundwaves through the arena as it made impact on the 29-year-old American fighter.
Lucas continued to take on Douglas despite him being down beyond the count, with referee Lopes failing to intervene.
The fight seemed all-but over with strikes to the face of a downed opponent banned, but referee Lopes allowed the fight to continue.
Douglas was clearly impacted by the series of heavy blows, visibly swaying as he looked to keep the fight going.
It meant Lucas picked off his opponent with three more strikes - flooring him as he went - before the fight was eventually curtailed.
Brazil’s National Athletic Commission of MMA spoke out shortly afterwards to address the series of errors.
It turns out that Lopes was an intern “who was getting tested”, according to vice-president Anderson Ulysses.
He said, as per The Sun: “At 11 seconds of the first round, Michael was knocked out by a high kick to the head and the referee made his first mistake, not interrupting the fight.
“He committed the second mistake by allowing the fight to continue with the athlete unconscious.
“We apologise to the athletes, teams, MMA fans and Thunder Fight for the mistakes committed due to lack of experience of the professionals.
“We inform that the referees that committed the mistakes were interns who were getting tested and had no experience as referees, but had undergone rule courses previously.”
Lopes will remain suspended as an MMA referee until he has passed more courses.News Now - Sport News