In an offer to Just Bleed’s MMA gods, a Brazilian referee was suspended after grossly disregarding the health of an amateur fighter and was knocked out three times.

It’s probably fair to say that Michael Douglas (the amateur fighter, not the actor) has seen some better days in his evolving mixed martial arts career than what happened to him at an event in Sao Paulo after falling from one Right High Kick was viciously dejected by his opponent Jessian Lucas at the beginning of the first round of his amateur fight as part of the Copa Thunder de MMA Amador event.

Douglas’ problems were only just beginning, however. Although the amateur rule set did not allow any blows to the head of a grounded opponent, Referee Kleber Lopes stepped back and watched Lucas push forward, triggering a volley of blows at the recumbent Douglas that apparently knocked him out again.

At this point, Referee Lopes intervened and, for reasons only best known to him, instead of abandoning the bout, monitored a brief hiatus in the action and inexplicably asked the dazed and confused fighter to get back on his feet, despite Douglas being visibly looked wobbly off balance.

After apparently developing a brand new set of rules for impromptu amateur mixed martial arts fights, to the obvious surprise of the Brazilian comment team, he signified that the fight should continue.

Seconds after the restart, Lucas reconnected with a right cross, which Douglas sent again to the canvas. This time the fight was abandoned and the TKO win was passed to Lucas for that third knockout (or technical knockout) of the fight.

Incredibly, all of this, including the brief pause in the fight, happened in just 51 seconds.

As was to be expected, an investigation has already begun into why the referee granted such an unnecessary punishment to one of the fighters he was in charge of.

“After 11 seconds into the first round, Michael was knocked down by a high kick in the head and the referee made his first mistake without interrupting the bout,” MMA’s National Athletic Commission (CANMMA) said in a statement.

“He made the second mistake by allowing the fight to continue with the unconscious athlete.”

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Incredibly, the commission also revealed that the referee in question was an INTERN and not a fully licensed official.

“We apologize to the athletes, teams, MMA fans and Thunder Fight for the mistakes that were made due to the lack of experience of the professionals,” it continues.

“We inform that the referees who made the mistakes were interns who had been tested and had no experience as referees but had previously taken regular courses.”

Lesson learned? We hope so. But no matter what penalty is given to the referee in this situation, it is likely not to be compared to the penalty that Douglas received. After all, you don’t get knocked out three times in the same fight every day.