The Man Who Flipped Off His Opponent’s Back Breaks His Silence On Going Viral For The Wrong Reasons

Mixed martial arts promotion Legacy Fighting Alliance hosted another exciting night of bouts on Friday night, March 23. However, there was a post-fight celebration that still has fight fans talking.

Drew Chatman made is professional mixed martial arts debut at LFA 36 on Friday, facing off against Irvins Ayala. Chatman earned a knockout victory over his opponent within the first round, leaving the fighter elated over his big debut.

With Ayala unconscious and face down on the canvas, Chatman then stepped onto his opponent’s back and performed a front flip. Rather than landing on the mat in front of his knocked out opponent, Chatman added insult to injury by slamming down butt first into the fighter.

Chatman’s big victory has since been overturned to a loss by disqualification and the post-fight victory celebration has since been taking the internet by storm. Speaking to MMA Fighting, Chatman has now come forward with a lengthy statement on the matter.

“I threw a kick, he tripped me and as he came down, I moved my knee in a certain position and he had hit his chin to my knee. At that moment, it happened so fast that my instincts just kicked in and I started punching. As he fell down to the floor, it was almost like I couldn’t believe he was out, because it happened really quick. My natural reaction was just to get up.

“Normally, I celebrate my fights. If you see all my amateur fights, I’m doing flips, I’m doing cartwheels or whatever the case may be. I didn’t think before I did it. I just jumped and did a flip. So it was almost like subconsciously I did what I normally what I would do celebrating a victory that I normally get.”

“Let me be honest with you, man. 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. Even though I’m not a champion so to speak, but I overcame a lot of things and I became something that I never thought I would become. Just to have my first pro fight is crazy, because I didn’t think I’d ever be on this level. It just happened so fast.

“So, the rules are the rules. And at the end of the day, when you actually look at what took place, I’m OK with having my pay taken away. I’m OK with being suspended 90 days. I’m OK with that. Because you can’t get that back. The video is priceless. I have to look back at that and live with regret every single day.”

“I want to apologize to Irvins Ayala. He was a good opponent. And he brought the fight to me. And he had a lot of heart. It was not a good move on my part as a martial artist. And I want to apologize to the California athletic commission, because they laid down the rules, they gave a great understanding and they do their job very well. Also, to Legacy, LFA, because they gave me a great opportunity to display my skills and it was a good platform.

“I’m not gonna play the victim here, because when you look at it the real victim here is Irvins Ayala. Let’s just be real. He showed up, he fought. It was an unfortunate mishap, but it did not have to end that way. All this publicity, all this media, the reality is I was wrong and I ain’t trying to gain no fame off of this, because I’m a martial artist.”

“This was my first fight, so it was a lot of nerves, it was a lot of emotions. It was a lot of outside influence due to the crowd, being one-sided. Everything that was going through my mind as a fighter — it was all over the place. As a normal fighter experiences before a fight. But this was my first pro [bout] and I haven’t fought since last August. So, the tension and the pressure was really high.”

“I know that after this happened a lot of MMA guys might be upset, because I’m giving them a bad name for people who are not even familiar with mixed marital arts. Someone who doesn’t even watch mixed martial arts might turn on the television and see this and then think, ‘This is how these cage fighters are.’”

“I do call myself ‘The Honorable’ and I’m not losing that name. My name is not perfect. So I understand that as a person I have to grow and learn from my mistakes. And I’m not ever gonna be perfect. But I will guarantee you this: It will never happen again.”

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