Muay Thai fighter Neymar Paeminburee can count himself fortunate to have escaped further injury after the actions of a quick-thinking referee saved him from slamming his head into the canvas after being knocked out recently.
So Sovarathana scored a stunning, instantaneous knockout against Paeminburee after he landed a right elbow to the chin during a recent contest in Cambodia, sending his opponent plunging backwards to the mat – and in an effort to save the fighter from suffering further trauma, referee Sittichai Ineiad was forced to jump into action.
Milliseconds after the blow is landed, Ineiad immediately notices that Paeminburee is toppling backwards so in a moment of refereeing ingenuity, he places his hand behind the fallen fighter’s head and follows as he falls, cushioning it from any further impact.
Several figures from within the martial arts community have since taken to social media to praise the official for his selflessness.
Whether or not this is a practice often employed by Muay Thai referees is uncertain, but perhaps so given that a separate official attempted a similar thing during the same event – but he didn’t quite have the same success as Sittichai Ineiad.
Refereeing is an often thankless task, particularly in combat sports where officials are regularly reprimanded by fans for stopping fights either too early or too late, but no one can deny the duty of care exhibited in this instance.