Gary Copeland weighs in on dramatic finish


Yesterday we provided Johnathan Ivey’s side of the story as it was unfolding after the Colosseum Combat XLV main event. If you missed it, read it here. The third man in the cage offered his take on what he saw go down in Kokomo.

Gary Copeland is a trusted referee who has been tasked with hundreds of fights during his tour of duty in the sport. He’s officiated at all levels including the UFC all the way down to a backyard contest on a hot Saturday evening. He’s been in the mix of his fair share of odd occurrences. We’ve witnessed Cope ref as many as 20 fights a night by himself.

Copeland made it clear that he respects and likes Johnathan Ivey as a person but he saw something different than what Ivey describes.

“Travis wasn’t out. I was talking to him, telling him to keep fighting. He responded to my commands and grabbed Ivey’s leg. There wasn’t much room for Ivey to connect. He was landing shots to his arms but nothing that was damaging.”

Gary said that he was confident that with Fulton’s resume that he could get himself out of trouble and that he wasn’t going to let him take undue damage. Copeland went on to say that at any point he felt that he was in danger he would have stopped it but when he warned him about lack of action he turned and started pulling the leg of Ivey in.

Copeland issued this statement yesterday hoping to clear the air on what he saw take place.

I respect both of these fighters and they are both good with many fights under their belt. At no point did Travis ever go out and the majority of the strike were hitting arms. When I warned Travis he moved and grabbed Johnathan’s leg. It was close to being stopped but John stopped on his own and chose to tap the canvas. I did not like to see it end like that but Travis was not out, or injured and tried to improve his position when warned. I had a clear view the whole time and the action was near the commission and they saw the same thing I did. I respect both these fighters and they are both class acts. Remember this is a pro-fight between two veteran fighters.”

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