White reacts to selection of Mazzagatti for UFC 156 main event


UFC 156, which takes place this Saturday, Feb. 2, in Las Vegas is headlined by a featherweight title fight, pitting champion Jose Aldo vs. former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar.

Last week the Nevada State Athletic Commission tapped veteran referee Steve Mazzagatti to officiate the main event. Mazzagatti, who was chosen for the assignment over Herb Dean and Yves Lavigne, will earn $1,200.

Mazzagatti has refereed dozens of high-profile bouts in Nevada, and is frequently maligned by UFC president Dana White, who has said "this guy shouldn’t even be watching the UFC, let alone reffing it."

This weekend was no exception.

“I could go off for 45 minutes on officiating over [in Nevada],” said White recently. “Steve Mazzagatti is the ref reffing the superfight. What more can I do (while turning his hand into a gun and pulling the trigger against his head)? Mazzagatti is reffing the superfight. What more needs to be said than that?

“I can’t do anything. As a promoter, I can’t do anything. The fighters can. The fighters can say, ‘Oh my God.’ They can say, ‘I don’t want him,’ and they gotta go in and give good cause on why they don’t want him.”

“I can tell you this, if I was a fighter, the last thing I would want to see when I got in the cage is Mazzagatti. That’s the last thing I would want to see.”

Mazzagatti has defended his performance in the past.

“[White] has criticized us and we get a lot of criticism for not standing them up – at least I do,” said Mazzagatti said in July of last year. “They say we let fighters lay on the ground too long and we’re not doing anything. We don’t make the rules. We enforce them. It’s not our job to make sure the fight goes the way the promoter wants it to go. It’s the fighter’s job. It’s their show."

“I don’t make the rules. If you want to make a 15-second standup rule, then come up with a 15-second standup rule and I will stand them up in 15 seconds. I can only go with what’s given to me. I don’t judge fighters by who they are and what they’re known for.”

“You gotta understand, I don’t work for Dana and we don’t work for Dana. I feel I’m a public servant for the fans and the fighters. I want to make sure the fighters have a good, clean, fair fight that they trained for and expect.”

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Recent Comments »

orcus site profile image  

1/30/13 8:03 PM by orcus

Good response by Mazz.

DubsAli site profile image  

1/30/13 7:37 PM by DubsAli

Having two fighters in there prime go at it, makes it a superfight? Silva undefeated in the UFC ...Jon Jones, is (for all intents and purposes) undefeated. Silva vs Jones = Superfight. GSP has won something like 10 in a row... These are the fighters that can comprise a "superfight" Edgar is 2-2-1 over his last five. I don't understand your definition of a superfight.I wish I was as easy to you to please.PLEASE yo'self homie.

Bigp5437 site profile image  

1/30/13 8:20 AM by Bigp5437

Yeah I like Miragliotta, but especially that Mir-Carwin fight..you'd think it was something personal again Mir to let him take that many shots

UGCTT_ Lay'n'PrayNINJA site profile image  

1/30/13 7:39 AM by UGCTT_ Lay'n'PrayNINJA

This is more of an issue than Steve.

PointyShinyBurn site profile image  

1/30/13 6:17 AM by PointyShinyBurn

Miragliotta's consistently late stoppages are the worst offence of any of the regular UFC refs. He is looking to get someone killed.

Rahjai site profile image  

1/30/13 12:07 AM by Rahjai

dana needs to let this go. Sounds like a whiney little bitch.

Jason Reinhardt site profile image  

1/30/13 12:01 AM by Jason Reinhardt

just my humble opinion.

Jason Reinhardt site profile image  

1/30/13 12:00 AM by Jason Reinhardt

I've reffed so many mma fights over all the years, both Pro and Amatuer, and it's a very thankless job, but i do find it pretty easy to do, 99% of the time. (especially if you know what your looking at) However, there's that 1% that sometimes happens inside the cage, during the fight where it immediately turns into a difficult job. Weird angles, weird positions, certain things happen so unexpected that has the potential to make any Ref look bad. But for the most part all the UFC refs do a very fine job. The problem is, there's so much on the line, where the ref places himself in such a position by accepting the role. And when something goes wrong, it never becomes just a little mistake, it's a HUGE mistake which affect many lives. A lot of pressure these Refs have. (especially when millions of eyeballs are watching all over the World) That's why it's becomes a "Big Deal" when a ref makes a bad call. Unlike basketball, or other sports, where "ref" mistakes happen and then immediately forgot about.

gamer site profile image  

1/29/13 11:53 PM by gamer

This. Cecil Peoples has fucked up a millions more times. Why doesn't Dana ever go after him, espically after the whole debacle that was the Shogun vs Machida decisionI think Dana just has a personal vendetta against Mazzagati, as usual Dana holds petty grudges