A fight between 2 of New York's most notorious residents -- a pigeon and a rat -- looked like it was going to the death ... until a pipe-wielding referee broke up the action.
All this video is missing is a UFC Octagon, and it looks like the rat was about to make the pigeon tap out ... like, forever. The bird was flapping its wings, desperately trying to get out of the rat's death grip.
Things really weren't looking good for the "rat of the sky" when all of a sudden -- outta nowhere -- a man delivered a crushing blow to the ground rat. The rodent quickly scurried away, but looks like the poor pigeon took a few blows too ... adding insult to injury.
Miraculously, both the bird and the rat seemed to walk away from the melee alive. The pigeon even had some swagger in its step as it left. Then again they always look like they're strutting.