Arkansas MMA Showdown: Robert Gidron's Controversial Clash with Referee Jon Munz Raises Eyebrows

Hot Springs, Arkansas, witnessed an explosive showdown on Jan. 20 during RDC 10's main event, where middleweights Robert Gidron and Chauncey Foxworth clashed in the cage. Both fighters, eager to revive their careers, were eyeing recognition from prominent promotions.

The match took an unexpected turn in the second round when Gidron's attempt at a takedown led to a heated exchange with referee Jon Munz. A scuffle ensued, capturing the attention of onlookers and marring the event's reputation.

In a shocking move, Munz was disqualified by the Arkansas State Athletic Commission (ASAC) for his role in the altercation, leading to a subsequent change in the referee. Foxworth eventually secured victory by unanimous decision.

Watch the full incident below in video footage obtained by MMA Junkie.



The incident is under investigation, and Munz's license has been suspended pending a revocation hearing on March 5. ASAC has the authority to impose a lifetime ban, a move deemed by some as a 'black eye' on Arkansas MMA.

Gidron, surprisingly, opposes a lifetime ban for Munz. "I don’t believe no one should lose their job," he stated. "We’re all in this for the fun. If you’re not having fun with this, you’re in the wrong sport."

As the clip shows, Munz, who was entrusted with officiating duties during that bout, did more than just verbally interject. Munz, who has been a part of the Arkansas MMA community for over a decade in various capacities that included promoter and official, pushed Gidron. It was perhaps a bit too high for Gidron’s liking.

“He ran and put his forearm in my throat,” Gidron recalled.

Gidron isn’t proud of it, but he pushed the referee’s arm.

“Me, I’m already in fight mode,” Gidron said. “What I did, I’m not saying I was wrong, and I’m not saying I was right, but I pushed him off me. He’s a big guy. All his weight was on my throat. … I felt that I pushed (him) off me. Maybe I could’ve done a lot better, but I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong. I’m not choking him. I’m removing him the best way I can.”

Munz took exception and began to yell. Gidron verbally countered. Fingers were pointed and expletives dropped.

What happened next shocked Gidron and many onlookers.

“As I pushed him off, he came right back and said, ‘Hey, I’ll throw your ass out of here. I’m the ref. You don’t put your f*cking hands on me.’ That’s when I said, ‘You don’t put your forearm in my throat. You don’t do that.’ That’s when he pushed me,” Gidron said.

The video appears to confirm Gidron’s account, although some of what is said can’t be heard. The part that is clear: Munz two-handed Gidron directly into the chest, and Gidron instantly retaliated with a strike.

“When he pushed me, it’s just a reflex,” Gidron said.

The boiling point created distance between the fighter and referee as the cage flooded with people that ranged from commissioners to promotion officials to cornermen.

“They disqualified me,” Gidron said. “After that, it just went crazy. They went in there. I don’t know if they thought I was going to go at him or what that was. Any fighter that goes through that, it just throws you off. It throws you completely off your game plan. It throws you completely off everything.

But that wasn’t the end.

The chaotic situation continued as the fight progressed with a different referee, leaving Gidron bewildered. The bout inexplicably skipped to the final round, and Gidron eventually lost by unanimous decision.

Despite the controversial events, Gidron hopes for a fair resolution. He and his manager Pat Wilson have appealed to ASAC to overturn the fight to a no-contest, citing the unusual circumstances.

As the investigation unfolds, the ASAC is taking the incident seriously. Ralph Hudson, the director of the Arkansas department of labor, emphasized, "It is currently reviewing the facts and will take appropriate action after a full and complete investigation."

The fallout from the incident has sparked debates about Munz's future in officiating. Gidron, however, advocates for accountability rather than a complete revocation, suggesting Munz may benefit from additional training.

"In the heat of the moment, we both made mistakes. We shake hands and go on with our lives," Gidron said. "I don’t wish no bad on nobody. He might just need to go through training. He might need to go through something to help him better do his job. But I don’t think no one should lose their job."

All quotes from MMA Junkie


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