MMA referee Marc Fennell: My job puts safety first
Chicago Sun-Times – May 20, 2011
By John Silver for Chicago Sun-Times
In any sport, a referee’s job is never popular.
But in mixed martial arts, in addition to all other duties, the referee must protect the athlete when his life could be on the line.
There has never been a death or serious injury in a major MMA promotion, and that’s attributable to the work of referees stopping the action before too much damage can be done.
“A fighter is one punch away from affecting his career,” referee Marc Fennell said. “So we always have to bring our ‘A’ game. Every second, we have to be on the verge of stopping the fight.”
Last Sunday, Fennell led a daylong MMA referee-training seminar at Emerald Smoke MMA gym. Most participants had experience refereeing in the cage and were led through various situations that arise, from the pre-bout fighter meetings to fighter inspections to actual work in the cage.