AN MMA referee was brutally floored with a flying kick after being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The incident took place during an amateur bout between Ireland and Mexico in March.
Referee Scott Manhardt, who has been an official since 2014, was on the end of a kick to the face by the Mexican fighter.
But fans had little sympathy for Manhardt, believing he was too close to the action.
One said: "That has got to be the refs fault right? The fighter can’t worry about where the ref is.
"It’s up to him to stay out of range. In my opinion."
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Another said: "Hahaha the ref was too close to the fighters."
One added: "Hahaha sparked shouldn’t have got so close."
Manhardt later spoke out about the viral moment and explained he was readying to split the fighters up with only seconds left of the round.
He said: "It was just an explosive accident as well that doesn't surprise me and the video they used, that a lot of the sites used, was the replay.
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"And the replay had the commentary talking, but not the horn. So there was a lot of comments about, 'He was in the wrong position, why was he so close?'
"Things like that and it just is what it is. I can't control the narrative.
"By far, that was the craziest thing that has ever happened to me in the cage, one in a million chance.
"I had to be where I had to be because it was the end of the round, I have to be prepared to separate them if needed.
"And he happened to throw the strike just as the horn was going. So it is what it is.
"So by far that was the craziest thing that that happened."
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