In any given fight, there are two guys in the ring. To win, one guy has to go into a bout with the intent of finishing his opponent. Sometimes however, they forget about the third man in the ring — the referee.

It’s not uncommon to see referees take a few hits sometimes. It just comes with the territory of being an in-ring official. The risk is inherent. But on very rare occasions, referees take a solid hit and go down. It’s sometimes shocking, oftentimes funny, but at the very least entertaining.

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The referee is the guy who tells fighters to “Defend yourselves at all times”. Yet they tend to forget to heed their own advice. Officials like Big John McCarthy don’t need to be worried, because a big dude like that can take hits. Some referees however aren’t as sturdy and can go down pretty easily.

Whether it’s in boxing, Muay Thai or MMA, when flimsy referees go down, they go down hard.

Let’s take a close look at Five Times Referees Got Knocked Out Cold.

#1 Epic Referee Knockout During Lebanese Muay Thai

As the two fighters go at it at the center of the ring, they kick and wail at each other with the intent to finish. In amateur contests like these, technique pretty much goes out the window. Instead, it’s replaced with a good old-fashioned throwdown.

After the referee calls for a fight, the red corner fighter goes straight at his opponent. The blue corner fighter retreats against the ropes trying to defend. In doing so, however, he inadvertently flails his arm out and the referee took it right on the chin.

The referee goes down immediately and all hell breaks loose.

The two fighters continue fighting but the crowd knows what’s up. So the cornermen go in and try to separate the two fighters. That’s when they realize the poor referee just got knocked out cold.

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YouTube video

#2 Referee out cold with one punch

It’s Canada versus Cuba in the next video, as the North American Boxing Championships holds a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. Canadian fighter Willie de Wit was going for the gold against opponent Pedro Cardenas of Cuba.

As de Wit laid into Cardenas against the ropes, Cardenas lands his best punch of the night. Unfortunately, it clocks the referee right on the button. The referee goes down like a felled tree.

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#3 Japanese referee gets googly-eyed from a monstrous left hook

The next clip shows just how much the Japanese people love their boxing. Japanese fighters are some of the best in the world, although they do tend to fight in Japan most of their careers.

As one fighter digs his head into his opponent, he unleashes a monstrous left hook. Unfortunately, it lands right on the referee’s noggin’ and sends him into dreamland. The poor ring official tries to get up but stumbles heavily.

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YouTube video

#4 Wrestler knees referee in the head

You gotta ask, how does a referee get knocked out in college wrestling? There are no strikes thrown in wrestling, but in a rare occurrence, the referee in this clip takes a knee to the head. He’s out cold in a matter of seconds.

The two wrestlers don’t realize it at first. But as soon as other people start to walk over to the mat. They stop what they’re doing and finally attend to the fallen official.

#5 Referee gets knocked out in the first round

In one of the craziest scenes to ever take place inside a boxing ring, a referee takes a thunderous right hook from one of the fighters and immediately goes down. Fans were excited to see a barn-burner matchup featuring two aggressive fighters. But they got short-changed with the referee could no longer continue.

He couldn’t even beat the standing eight-count. The referee tried to get up, but it was clear he was on unsteady legs. Check out the clip.

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