At around 4.30pm on Saturday (March 9), police were called to Bridgegate in Rotherham town centre to report of a fight between a group of men outside The County pub, near to the Rotherham Interchange.
A 38-year-old man found by officers to have serious injuries was airlifted to hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
Five people were arrested at the scene on suspicion of GBH with intent and public order offences.
This evening, three remain in custody while two have been released under investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Palmer said investigations were ongoing and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
He said: “We are still establishing the circumstances around this incident. There is some speculation online that this is linked to local football related rivalries, however at this time we do not believe this to be the case.
“If you saw what happened yesterday afternoon or have any information that might help us, please contact 101 quoting incident number 675 of Saturday 9 March.”