Mixed martial arts is a brutal and unforgiving game. One minute, your trading blows and looking to execute your next move, then all of the sudden you are out cold face down on the mat.

It makes for intensely exciting matches as even when losing, a single punch could turn it all around.

This past weekend, at LFA 36 in Cabazon, California, Drew Chatman won his debut fight with a decisive knockout against Irvins Ayala. The fight itself wasn't too noteworthy, but what happened immediately following the knockout is what had everyone turning their heads.

In a moment of excitement and extremely poor judgment, Chatman reacts to the sudden knockout by doing a front flip off of his downed opponent. The referee's reaction said it all as at best it was a gross example of poor sportsmanship. Luckily for Chatman, he avoided injuring Ayala as the stunt could have turned out much worse.

Though Irvins was knocked out, the fight technically had not been called yet by the referee so, the disqualification stems from Chatman stomping both feet on a downed opponent, which is illegal.

Immediately disqualified

To no one's surprise, the match ended with Ayala actually receiving the victory. Chatman was issued a 90-day suspension and had to forfeit his $500 earnings for the fight.

In his own words, he agreed with the decision.

“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." After having a few moments to reflect on his blunder, it seems Chatman was well aware of what he had done.

Dangers in amateur MMA

While this celebration was abhorrent to watch from a sportsmanship standpoint, it isn't nearly the height of the dangers in amateur MMA. Many of these fighters know that they are one break away from earning a big-time contract in promotions like the UFC and Bellator. With stakes that high it is becoming more and more common for fighters to literally risk it all in the octagon.

From referees taking too long to break up a decided fight, to fighters trying to go that extra mile for a highlight reel knockout, the danger is real.

There were several deaths in 2017 related to injuries sustained in sanctioned MMA fights. Even more when you count in unsanctioned bouts.

Though it is clear that participants know what they are signing up for when they get in the ring, amateur promotion needs to do a better job of protecting fighters from themselves by stepping in sooner to avoid unnecessary tragedies.