Austin Batra provided one of the most head-scratching MMA moments of the year when he lost out on a win because of a wild, violent strike after his opponent was already knocked out. Batra was fighting Perry Hayer in the co-main event od Battlefield Fight League 57 in Coquitlam, British Columbia when it all went down.
Batra scores a knockout blow, but after the referee steps in to wave off the fight he decides to go airborne, clasp both hands together, and come down with a strike on his opponent.
That led to Batra being disqualified from the bout, giving up his win and his title.
Check out the footage from the shocking moment below:
Batra has since spoken out about what led to the strike.
“I only had him in my sights. I couldn’t see the ref coming from my right. At that exact moment, the fight was still on,” said Batra, via MMAFighting.com. “I jumped at my opponent with a double axe handle strike and then immediately after leaving the ground I noticed the referee waving off the fight. If you watch the replay in slow motion, you can see that I opened my hands back up and shifted my body as best as I could in mid-air. You have to realize I’m in mid-air at this point.
“And then it just happened so fast, I still didn’t land on him. I think I may have touched him, but in my honest opinion, I think that I did not touch him. I launched straight, but I went to the side. If I didn’t try to avoid him, if I still went straight, I would have made way more impact and it could have been way more damaging. Immediately after I landed that strike, I put my hands up to the ref to show him that I backed off and it’s just really hard to see that in real time. But it goes even faster when you’re the one flying through the air trying to avoid contact at the last minute.”
Batra continued, insisting there was no cheap shot.
“There was no cheap shots,” he added. “If he thinks that it was a cheap shot, I give him my utmost apology, I’m very sorry that feels that way. I would have not done that if the referee had stopped the fight a second or two earlier. … No matter how the fight got promoted, I have the utmost respect for you for even stepping foot in the octagon.”
The British Columbia Athletic Commission will continue looking into the matter as they determine whether to hand down any punishment for Batra’s actions.