White: Steve Mazzagatti is dangerous


At the UFC 161 media scrum, UFC president Dana White directed perhaps his most pointed remarks to date at referee Steve Mazzagatti, who has come under fire from various quarters for his officiating (3:14 mark).

Many of White's remarks centered on Mazzagatti's officiating of Friday's Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch headliner at WSoF 4.


"Does anyone disagree with me that Mazzagatti's a f@$%ing toolbox?" asked White bluntly.

"i mean he literally did nothing," said White. "Fitch is out, cold. And I saw some people talking $#!* on the Internet, today, like, 'Oh, BJ Penn held a choke for five more seconds, and somebody else, I can't remember  who... Rear naked chokes... This f@$%ing choke..." said White, demonstrating a Guillotine. "Anybody who has ever done any Jiu-Jitsu, that thing does f@$%ing damage, it hurts, and a guy's unconscious and you're squeezing his neck, all this $#!* right here, as hard as you can.'

"You're a f@$%ing idiot to think that a rear  naked choke is the exact same as that front choke. And literally, when he goes limp, and he's out, then he rolls him f@$%ing over, let's his head f@$%ing flop to the thing, then stands up over him - he's literally like this standing over him before Mazzagatti f@$%ing gets in the picture."

"The Nevada State Athletic Commission is going to keep this guy around until he seriously hurts somebody. That guy is dangerous. He's dangerous."

Ariel Helwani then noted that Mazzagatti was likely to be reffing at the next UFC in Las Vegas when White interjected.

"They'll make him the main event now. Now because I said this, the Nevada State Athletic Commission will give him the Silva fight."

Helwani then said that in effect no one was policing the police, describing the situation as 'corrupt.'

"It is not corrupt when you talk about the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and the fact that they keep doing this." corrected White. "It's complete and total ego... Because I keep complaining, they will put him front and center, which is disgusting. It's disgusting. At what point do you realize that this guy is an incompetent fool. And he's going to hurt somebody.

"So I wonder what's going to happen when somebody gets seriously hurt in a Mazzagatti fight. What are they going to write it off to? 'Oh, you know, anything can happen, this is a combat sport, anything can happen.'

"This guy is dangerous."

White was asked if he could request that Mazzagatti not work on his show.

"Ican't," said White. "Fighters can.

Helwani asked if White would ask fighters to ask the NSAC to not use Mazzagatti?

"That's not right of me," replied White. "If a fighter feels comfortable with Steve Mazzagatti... let me tell you what, if I was a fighter? And I showed up that night and it said Steve Mazzagatti, I'd be of f@$%ing hell no. One of two things are going to happen tonight. Either I am going to get hurt, or this guy is going to do something stupid and screw up my fight."

"But I would never tell a fighter to do that. It's up to a fighter to do that."

You can catch a replay of the controversial finish at the 4:23 mark:

Dana White's complete interview below:


tags: UFC   Video   Dana White   Steve Mazzagatti   


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Recent Comments »

time traveling 12er site profile image  

6/17/13 8:55 PM by time traveling 12er

I don't get this reasoning. Lesnar was still a cash cow wasn't he? He did better than anyone could have possibly expected and was a huge draw. So why would Dana White be salty about that to the point of still being angry at Mazzagatti?

studiocamp site profile image  

6/17/13 1:43 PM by studiocamp


Rahjai site profile image  

6/17/13 12:17 PM by Rahjai

Mazagatti is just fine. Dana just has a personal vendetta against him for screwing over his cash cow Lesnar. He needs to let it go. There are far worse referees. He's actually fairly consistent. Dana just acting like a little child.

Mojo514 site profile image  

6/17/13 12:13 PM by Mojo514

mazzagatti is a tool

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

6/17/13 4:11 AM by ChaosOverkill

The only fighter I remember making a request to not have a ref do his fight is Lesnar for his rematch with MIR

Chromium site profile image  

6/17/13 3:53 AM by Chromium

I've seen some horrific reffing before way worse than Mazzagatti, but mostly those on indy cards where there isn't an athletic commission, like in Europe or wherever. Mazzagatti is being continually appointed to major cards by an athletic commission that is supposed to be the international gold standard and he keeps showing varying degrees of incompetence. This is hardly the first time he's fucked up. At the very least, he shouldn't be reffing on major events anymore, if at all. It's not like this shit is rare for him.

Chromium site profile image  

6/17/13 3:47 AM by Chromium

It was good enough only because Burkman was a 10-year veteran of 35 professional fights who knew when Fitch was totally out, and didn't have to rely on Mazzagatti  to make that call and knew when he could let go. I'd still give Mazzagatti a pass if he was hunched over and in position to stop the fight if Burkman had waited a few more seconds, but he clearly did not have a good field of view, nor was he scrambling for one. He was standing straight up on the wrong side of the action. Get a less experienced fighter, one who doesn't know when to let go (because it's technically the ref's job to stop the fight), and someone could have gotten seriously hurt. Mazzagatti's reffing was only "good enough" because he didn't have to do anything. Burkman reffed that fight.

Okkun site profile image  

6/17/13 3:46 AM by Okkun

Must be great to be on Dana's shitlist. Everything you ever do will be seen as further proof that Dana is right. .

big_roy_fan site profile image  

6/17/13 3:18 AM by big_roy_fan

worst ref is the guy who watched a fighter tap out like 30 times then stopped it when he was out cold

nolabrum site profile image  

6/17/13 3:09 AM by nolabrum

It wasnt great reffing. But it was good enough. It's not like when that ginger bitch refs. Mazagatti did fine let the man be.