A gym owner has been awarded the prestigious honour of refereeing at this weekend’s UFC event at Wembley Arena.
Neil Hall, 47, who used to run two gyms in Dewsbury and now runs the Allegiance MMA gym on Bradford Road, Batley, will travel to the capital on Saturday to officiate in the world’s biggest mixed martial arts event.
UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship is the sport’s premier promotion company and was first established in America. The sport combines different kinds of mixed martial art disciplines and features the top-ranked fighters in the World.
It will be Mr Hall’s duty to control the action inside the Octagon as two fighters attempt to either knock their opponent out or make them tap, but being a refereeing veteran, he isn’t fazed.
He said: “It’s been a long time coming, I’ve been officiating for twelve years now doing smaller events and last year I refereed in ten countries.”
He previously ran the Caged Steel and Allegiance gyms in Dewsbury but currently runs the Allegiance MMA gym on Bradford Road where he also coaches his son Dan, who trains at the gym and is currently undefeated at semi-pro level.
There will be twelve fights in total at the Wembley Arena including six main event fights and Mr Hall will get the chance to officiate in some of them, something which he is very proud of.
“To be asked to referee is a huge honour. There are only a handful of referees asked to do this. There is no higher level event anywhere in the world,” he added.