REFS | Ring Experienced Fight Specialists


ABOUT | REFS_Ring Experienced Fight Specialists

REFS is an instructional and consulting organization serving the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Founded in the year 2000 by Nelson ‘Doc’ Hamilton, REFS believes that the number of skilled competitors, as well as the number of quality events, have far outpaced the available pool of competent ring officials.

REFS is dedicated to the ongoing education and training paramount to establishing longevity for this explosive and dynamic sport. Easily misunderstood and often criticized, it is REFS’ belief that any questionable stoppage by a referee, or questionable decision by a judge, has a negative impact on the integrity of the sport.

REFS believes that if MMA is to continue the meteoric growth and popularity it presently enjoys, each promotional organization and regulating commission must acknowledge the critical role performed by the referees and judges. Any failure to do so will almost certainly result in unnecessary critical injuries, and, the resulting call for abolishment of the sport by its detractors.

REFS is committed to educating and informing Athletic Commissions, Native American Entities, Promoters and other Regulatory Agencies. Maintaining high standards of competition and officiating is essential to stabilizing MMA’s athletic legitimacy and economic viability. Implementing sound practices designed to protect fighters from unnecessary injury prolongs productive careers.

REFS’ mission is two-fold: firstly, to elevate the quality and consistency of officiating via training seminars and videos for aspiring MMA referees and judges, and secondly, to provide expertise as consultants to all Tribal, Province, and State Athletic Commissions desirous of regulating the sport in their respective locales.