On Saturday, Jason High made his UFC lightweight debut, facing Rafael dos Anjos. The contest ended at the 3:36 mark of the second round when referee Kevin Mulhall waved the fight off and awarded the TKO victory to the No. 5 ranked Dos Anjos. The ruling did not sit well with High.
Seconds after Mulhall deemed that High (18-5) could not continue, the fighter got to his feet and put his hands on Mulhall, shoving the referee. The incident did not go unnoticed by the UFC.
At the UFC Fight Night post-fight press conference, UFC Senior Director of Public Relations Dave Sholler said of the incident, "On behalf of the organization, completely unacceptable. You can't put your hands on the official. In the heat of the moment, a lot of things can happen, but you can't put your hands on an official."
Sholler also said that any fines and suspensions stemming from the incident would be doled out by the New Mexico Athletic Commission, but added, "We'll regroup on Monday with the (UFC) executive team and we'll figure out if there's any other things that need to happen."
High did apologize on Twitter after the incident.
In 2010, former UFC fighter Keith Jardine shoved a referee while fighting under the Shark Fights banner. Jardine was subsequently handed an indefinite suspension by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Jardine's actions that night in Texas followed him to Nevada. When Jardine applied with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to fight in that state in 2012, the NSAC did ask Jardine about the incident prior to granting him a license.
If High does face any repercussions from the UFC, it may be due to a breach of the UFC's Fighter Conduct Policy, which states:
Fighters shall conduct themselves in accordance with commonly accepted standards of decency, social convention, and morals, and fighters will not commit any act or become involved in any situation or occurrence or make any statement which will reflect negatively upon or bring disrepute, contempt, scandal, ridicule or disdain to the fighter or the UFC.