UFC ref Steve Mazzagatti talks Brock Lesnar, Dana White, being hated

UFC president Dana White has made no secret of the fact that "clueless idiot" Steve Mazzagatti is his least favorite referee. Dana has poured…

By: Nate Wilcox | 10 years ago
UFC ref Steve Mazzagatti talks Brock Lesnar, Dana White, being hated
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

UFC president Dana White has made no secret of the fact that “clueless idiot” Steve Mazzagatti is his least favorite referee. Dana has poured contempt on the man who called Brock Lesnar for hitting Frank Mir on the back of the head, who stopped the fight when Kevin Burns poked Anthony Johnson in the eye and who is responsible for UFC Light Heavyweight champ Jon Jones’ only loss.

Mazzagatti spoke to Chuck Mindenhall of MMA Fighting and shared his side of some of those stories. On the Burns/Johnson stoppage:

“What the hell am I going to do?” he says. “I had no idea the [Burns]’ hand had been injured, although his fingers were causing a huge problem, and I’d warned him about his fingers. And then Anthony got poked in the eye, after I – I saw a combination, I saw an uppercut, and all of a sudden Anthony turns around flies on the ground and starts tapping. Well, he was in pain, and he was like, I’m done. He wasn’t necessarily tapping because he’s done, he was poked in the eye.

“Well, I had already stopped the fight. And I got to stick by that call. I’ve admitted that that loss…that was basically a bad call. That was definitely a bad call. Because of that though…we implemented in the state of Nevada and several other states now, instant replay. At the time, I didn’t have it. I could have went back and looked at the instant replay and said wow, that was an eye poke. Because this s— goes down so fast. Then I could have said, you know what? This is a disqualification.”

On Jones/Hamill:

“(Jones) hip throws Hamill to the ground, starts unloading with elbows. I wasn’t concerned. Hamill was blocking those, he had a four-wall defense. We’ve seen it before, these guys will unload everything they got because they think they’ve got the other guy hurt, and the guy all of a sudden comes up and beats the crap out of the guy because he’s gassed or he hurt his hands trying to punch him out.

“Then all of a sudden those downward elbows came. I said, oh my god, there’s definitely a rule infringement right there – downward elbows straight through Hamill’s guard, which he’s not used to blocking 12-to-6 elbows. He got hit with three of them straight to the bridge of his nose, and when I went back and looked at the instant replay, in the first round his nose is cut open. So he’s supposed to go out and fight two more rounds with the bridge of his nose cut open, bleeding into both eyes in the first round and be able to compete?

“Unfortunately, what did I have to do? As bad as it sucked….I mean, it sucks.”

Read the whole interview it’s a great insight on what it’s like to be the man inside the cage everybody seems to hate.

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Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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