June 3rd 2016
Name – Bobby Wombacher
Years as a Referee – 4
Where are you from ?
I’m from Taylorville, IL
How long have you been a referee ?
I have been a referee for 4 years.
How did you et in to the sport ?
I got into the sport like most everyone else by watching the VCR tapes of the first UFC’S.
When you decided to become a referee where your family and friends supportive of your decision ?
Yes my family and friends were supportive. They realized the sacrifices and the thick skin it would require.
What is your favorite part of being the third man in the cage ?
My favorite part of being in the cage is the adrenaline rush and keeping the athletes safe. At the end of the night if I have done my job effectively, there are fighters that will tell me and vice versa.
Who is your biggest inspiration ?
My biggest inspirations are my children, birth and step. Alexis, Ashley, Kaaden, Adam, Ireland, Naithaniel, Amber, and Aaron.
What does being a part of this sport mean to you ?
Being a part of this sport means I have an opportunity to keep fighters safe and assist in the education of the sport to any and all people involved or wanting to get involved.
what has been your most memorable fight to date ?
I’m not sure if there is a favorite fight. I have been blessed with the opportunity to be in the cage with so many tremendous athletes and so many fantastic fights. Without the top-tier athletes I get to share the cage with, there would be no me.
What is your mindset on fight night ?
My mindset on fight night is actually very clear and calm. When I get to the arena I’ve already put in the work and did my preparations, so it is all about letting my training take over while in the cage and keeping the fighters safe.
What promotions do you referee for ?
I have ref’d for so many promotions: The Clash, Steelfist, King of the Cage, RFA, Legacy, and on July 13 the UFC to name a few. I’m positive I have worked with close to 60 promotions at the low-end of the spectrum.
Date and time of your next event ?
Next event is June 10 in Huron, SD. I will be at the weigh ins the night before to meet with fans and spend some time hanging out with them.
What do you want to be remembered for at the end of your career ?
I want to be remembered as a referee that kept fighters safe and that when the fighters saw me standing in the cage, they knew they didn’t have to worry.
What is your favorite quote or motto ?
I live by hard work and the fact that no one is going to give you anything, you must take it!
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport so far ?
My biggest accomplishment personally so far is the fact I haven’t had any serious injuries while I have been in the cage. My biggest accomplishment business wise is July 13!
Who has been most influential to you in your career ?
Their has been 2 people who have been the most influential. Tom Supnet and Kevin Macdonald. Tom started the same time as I did and we have shared this journey together. We talk frequently and always bounce things off one another. This is a brutal business and if you don’t have someone to keep you level, it is easy to walk away. If it wasn’t for Tom, I wouldn’t be where I am at today. Kevin is a veteran referee and always someone who has taken the time to help me. While others were trying to bury me, he was always there helping. This business is very territorial and some referees get threatened by success. Kevin has always challenged and pushed me to be better. I will be sharing the Octagon assignments on July 13 with him and that is a huge honor for me.
Who do you feel has had the biggest impact on the sport and why ?
As far as referees go with the biggest impact on the sport, it is without a doubt Big John. Let’s be honest, without him in the beginning and what he has done there is a good chance the sport we love so much would be drastically different or non-existent. I have learned a bunch from John and when he speaks, if you are not listening you are clueless. He will also be on the card on July 13!
What drives or motivates you ?
My family is what drives me on a personal level and the respect of the athletes drive me on a business level.
What is something people might not know about you ?
People might not know I’m a very private person and quiet.
What do you like to do in your free time ?
I like to watch MMA, go to baseball games, golf, and cook in my free time.
What advice can you give to young people coming up in different areas of MMA ?
Only advice I can give is if you are passionate and your heart is in the right place, don’t let people hold you back. If you want it, you need to grab it and take it, because no one is going to give it to you. Nothing replaces hard work!
What do you think you would be doing if you had never put on that referee shirt ?
If I didn’t become a referee, I believe I would have been a promoter or helping someone promote their promotion. I don’t see me every being away from the sport.
What gets you hyped up or ready to step in the cage ?
If you need to get hyped up to get in the cage, not sure if being a referee is for you. I’m there to protect 2 combatants and keep the playing field as level as possible, that is all the hype I need!
Where do you see the sport of mma in 5-10 years ?
Man the sport is still so young and small in comparison to its potential. It is a tad scary to think how big it will be in 5 – 10 years.
Who is your favorite fighter ?
My favorite fighter is Matt Hughes.
Is there anyone you want to thank or send a shout out to ?
I would like to give a shout out to all of the people who have stood behind me and supported me on my journey. When the chips are down, that is when your true friends and supporters show their true colors!