The knockout you are about to watch was weird as hell, and yet somehow it was just a prelude to something significantly weirder. Here we have Irvins Ayala sweeping Drew Chatman to the mat, walloping his head with a hammer fist, then somehow accidentally knocking himself out after crashing his face into Chatman’s leg. Chatman, giddy off the high of winning his pro debut in the dumbest possible way, then did a front flip off of Ayala’s prone body, which promptly earned him a disqualification loss.
Chatman was docked pay and suspended for 90 days by the California State Athletic Commission, and he was very apologetic when he spoke to MMA fighting about it:
“Let me be honest with you, man,” Chatman said. “I don’t deserve to get paid for that. It’s disappointing watching that. My mother has to see that. People that look up to me and see me become an inspiration to them have to look at that.”
He explained that a hallmark of his amateur career was doing cool flips, and after he beat Ayala, he was so elated that his instinct (to do cool flips) kicked in. And that is why he did a cool flip off his opponent’s back.
“This was my first fight, so it was a lot of nerves, it was a lot of emotions,” Chatman said. “It was a lot of outside influence due to the crowd, being one-sided. Everything that was going through my mind as a fighter—it was all over the place. As a normal fighter experiences before a fight. But this was my first pro [bout] and I haven’t fought since last August. So, the tension and the pressure was really high.”
Chatman promised never to leap off the back of a downed opponent again, which is, I suppose, a relief to anyone else who plans on knocking Chatman out by going at his knee with their chin.