Mike Tyson Was A Referee For A UK MMA Fight And Boxing Legend Had To Stop 2006 Bout After Just One Minute


Mike Tyson was a formidable boxer in his prime, so you’d expect he’d command considerable respect as a referee.

It could be argued the sight of the former heavyweight champion, who returns to the ring tonight, barking orders could be more intimidating than any opponent.

In 2006 in Manchester, ‘Iron Mike’ got a surprise call from the World Cage Fighting Championship, an MMA promotion in the UK, to act as referee for a match between Spaniard Diego Gonzalez and 20-year old Terry Etim, a Liverpudlian who went on to have a decent career in UFC, of which Tyson is a big fan of.

Etim fought 11 times in the UFC between 2007 and 2013 and recorded a win in front of the boxing Hall of Famers by submitting his opponent in just 59 seconds.


As a man who began his career knocking people out quickly, Tyson can only have been impressed.

It’s not the first time he has donned a referee shirt in a different sport.

Tyson bagged $3.5million to referee the WrestleMania 14 contest between Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1998 when his boxing licence was suspended.

His star power helped launch WWE above WCW in the Monday Night Wars and ultimately made the former the biggest wrestling company on the planet.


Still, we have to imagined World Cage Fighting Championship wasn’t shelling out $3.5m.

Maybe Tyson did it for his love of the sport?

“When I came up, my trainer was a boxing guy. If my guy was in UFC, I’d probably go that way,” he explained to ESPN.

“I love UFC, big time. How could you not be? They play UFC so much, you see it year round, and you just have to want to be a fan. If you’re not a fan, you’re not cool.

“I would love to do that stuff.”


The gig in Manchester came a year after he retired from the sport that made him – and five after his controversial appearance in the UK where he was paid handsomely to fight Julius Francis.

Tyson walked away from boxing in 2005 after a loss to Kevin McBride and publicly admitted after he had only taken the fight for the money.

However, 15 years later, the fire burns bright for the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and he’s scratching that itch in an eight-round exhibition fight next month.


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