Dewsbury’s own UFC ref in action in Brazil

Neil Hall sees to a fallen fighter
Neil Hall sees to a fallen fighter

Globe trotting is all in a day’s work for mixed martial arts referee Neil Hall.

The 48-year-old from Dewsbury Moor has officiated in some of the world’s biggest events.

And Neil, who runs the Allegiance mixed martial arts gym on Bradford Road, Batley, was called into action again this week to referee for the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Brazil.

UFC 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 from across the world.

Neil’s duty was to control the action inside the octagon as two fighters attempt to either knock out their opponent or make them tap.

He said: “I have been doing this for more than 12 years and for the past three, I have worked more international events and feel I have earned by stripes to play in the big leagues.

“For me personally, it is a massive achievement and for anyone who has worked in the business wants to get in to the UFC.

“There are only a handful of referees asked to do this and the UFC is the top promotion in the world.”

Neil has been in high demand over the past fortnight referring bouts all across the globe.

He officiated fights in both Aberdeen and Grozny, the capital city of the Chechen Republic in Russia.

Neil said: “We were invited to Grozny by the president for the Cage Warrior’s show - regarded as the second biggest mixed martial arts company in the world.

“It was the first show of its kind over there but it is all about expanding into new territories.

“We even had some of the president’s staff and body guards competing.

“To be asked to referee is a huge honour and I hope to work for the UFC again when they return to Manchester later this year.”