FILE — Taylorville native Bobby Wombacher stands center octagon for a UFC match that he is about to referee. Wombacker will return to the cage on Saturday night in Detroit to ref the UFC 218 card. submitted photo
DETROIT — Taylorville native Bobby Wombacher has the opportunity to call one of the biggest cards of the year for the UFC this Saturday, reffing one of the matches on the UFC 218 card. Wombacher isn’t sure of what match he will be doing but he said, “I’m grateful to be wherever (the fight) is. The fight really doesn’t matter to me. I treat all of the athletes the same.”
Wombacher first debuted in the UFC back in July of 2016, but he has been reffing on the professional scene for longer than that. “I have been doing pro fights for about five years. The UFC is just different because they know who you are, they are more aware of you; you have to be more cautious of what you say and how you say it.”
In those five years, Wombacher has been to 27 different states. “I would have to say that Mobile, Alabama has been my favorite place so far. Everyone was just so nice and respectful there.”
Wombacher says he has no visions of getting back in the ring, despite originally training to become a fighter. “I don’t want to get back in the ring. I like doing what I am doing. I am able to keep the fighters safe in the ring. It’s an adrenaline rush in there and you have to be ready to get dinged up as well,” said Wombacher.
Keeping fighters safe is Wombacher’s number one priority. “It doesn’t matter to me when it happens, when a guy is out he’s out. I remember one match I was reffing between Devin Clark and Alex Nicholson in South Dakota. It was Devin’s UFC debut and he was from South Dakota, you know hometown guy, but Nicholson fired off and got him at like 4:58 (this event had five minute rounds) and I stopped it. It’s all about fighter safety.”
Despite having moved to Utah five years ago, Wombacher still thinks of Taylorville and wants to help give back to his community. Wombacher is wanting to set up a charity event for the Hornbuckle family sometime next year. “I graduated with Clint and my dad still lives in Taylorville. I reached out to Clint’s mom in August and tried to get something together for October. We wanted to do an outdoor event to hold more people, but the weather was an issue. We wanted to then move it to the high school, but Clint had a setback at that time and I wanted his mom to be there with him.”
Wombacher hopes that the event can raise as much money as possible for the family. He’s hoping that it can be an outdoor event. “It definitely will be in Taylorville. I’m thinking maybe some time around Memorial Day weekend, Clint served in the military and I knew it meant a lot to him. After Christmastime, I will get back in touch with his mom and we will work some more on it.” Wombacher also said that he will come down to ref and hopes to make it as big of an event as possible.
Wombacher said, “When I come through, even for just brief periods, I look at how much the town has grown since I left. The place looks completely different and it’s growing. I would love to support my hometown in any way possible. I do a lot of charity work and would love to do whatever I can to help out.”
Wombacher will be doing a live interview from Detroit before the event on Saturday and interviews after. The UFC 218 card is highlighted by a rematch between Max Holloway and Jose Aldo. To keep in touch with Bobby and see where he is, or listen to some of his interviews, he can be found on Facebook by searching “MMA Referee Bobby Wombacher.”