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UnderGround Forums >> Not Refereeing UFC This Weekend


8/24/10 10:27 AM
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donnybrook
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 Well, I thought it would finally happen, but alas, I live in Massachusetts and as the Speaker of the House Tip O'Neil once said "all politics is local"

http://bostonherald.com/sports/other_sports/ultimate_fighting/view/20100824local_refs_dream_kod/



 

When the UFC comes to Boston for the first time on Saturday night, many of the area’s best fighters will be on display.

Yet, one individual who helped lead the mixed martial arts charge in the commonwealth, referee Kevin MacDonald, will have no part in UFC 118, and some are disappointed in that.

A Watertown resident, MacDonald has refereed in the Bay State for nearly a decade, presiding over more than 1,100 bouts in Massachusetts. This year, he was one of six MMA referees and their training programs recognized as being the best in North America.

Like any MMA ref, MacDonald’s goal is to make it to the big-time.

A father of two and a Watertown fireman, he thought his dream would be realized when he received an e-mail in late July congratulating him on being selected to ref in UFC 118.

However, two hours later, he received a phone call notifying him he wasn’t selected. Even more shocking, according to MacDonald, was the reasoning why.

“I talked to (Massachusetts State Athletic Commissioner) Todd Grossman the next day, and he told me I was not a team player,” MacDonald said. “I’m very concerned and very unhappy that personal grievances and personality issues are getting in the way of whoever is the most qualified for a job.

“This hit me like an unexpected punch in the stomach. It’s been 100 percent (my passion). This would’ve been sort of the circle coming complete.”

Grossman declined comment when asked why MacDonald wasn’t chosen. He did say the original e-mail notifying MacDonald that he would ref in the show was accidentally sent.

“He was mistakenly notified. He just wasn’t assigned. He just wasn’t chosen for the fight,” Grossman said. “For this particular show we chose four of the best referees in the world. These are all guys who have reffed UFC events in the past.”

Somerville-based Sityodtong trainer Mark DellaGrotte pointed out that MacDonald has worked hard to get the sport sanctioned in Massachusetts. He was angry with the way things transpired.

“It’s kind of a slap in the face to Kevin,” DellaGrotte said. “He’s been there since Day 1. He helped us build this sport, he helped us legalize this sport. And he’s the best at what he does. And now that the UFC is finally coming to Boston we need to bring out our best and all our big guns.

“Kevin’s not going to be there, and that upsets me.”

8/24/10 10:41 AM
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Chris
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 sux Kevin. I was pulling for you.
8/24/10 10:57 AM
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Dancing With Myself
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sorry man, there were just some things you unfortunately didn't do that were needed, this is the big time not local.

:(

Keep your head up man
8/24/10 11:01 AM
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BigWilliam
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So much for the idea of impartial and random selection. The UFC has their refs and they tell the state commisions who they want to use.
8/24/10 11:41 AM
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Mark_Daniels
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BigWilliam - So much for the idea of impartial and random selection. The UFC has their refs and they tell the state commisions who they want to use.

 Not true. It's was the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission which stopped Kevin from reffing at UFC 118, not the UFC.

8/24/10 11:44 AM
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Jason Franklin
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Edited: 08/24/10 11:47 AM
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Dancing With Myself - sorry man, there were just some things you unfortunately didn't do that were needed, this is the big time not local.

:(

Keep your head up man



Kevin has been one of the faces of MMA in Massachusetts for years. Talk to him for five minutes and you will see how much he loves this sport. He does more for the fighters, promoters, and fans than anyone in the state right now.

Its a shame he is not in there.

Best wishes to him. I guarantee we will see him in there in the near future.
8/24/10 11:50 AM
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ausgepicht
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That's fucking lame as fuck.
8/24/10 11:55 AM
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DoctorVanNostran
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That pisses me off

Posted from my mma underground iPhone app
8/24/10 12:06 PM
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Paul Gara
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bullshit
8/24/10 12:09 PM
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donnybrook
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Edited: 08/24/10 12:09 PM
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Thanks guys,I guess setting up and teaching the training programs for all of the state referees and judges, attending all the meetings to help out with regs (spending $35 per mtg on parking!!!!)and never getting a dime for any of it doesn't go far anymore :)

Kevin
8/24/10 12:12 PM
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TimW
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Edited: 08/24/10 7:06 PM
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Kevin was really instrumental in keeping MMA alive in MA when it was not ‘regulated’ by the state- in a way that was safe and fair for the fighters. Kevin started out as a fighter and thus had the right background to become a referee.  Now 10 years later, Kevin is a referee with 1000+ fights under his belt, Kevin is 1 of 6 referees recognized by the ABC for training referees (i.e., the ABC promoted unified rules, is the group that tracks all stats of fighters for MMA.tv, etc), and Kevin refereed many of the early fights for the locals who are fighting on the show this weekend (Joe Lauzon, Kenny Florian, Marcus Davis)…

 

This had nothing at all to do with the UFC- Kevin was initially chosen as a referee for UFC Boston, but local politics quickly saw that changed (from people who had nothing to do with MMA, just that their political posts became connected to the fight game and MMA commission).  Kevin has been an advocate of MMA in MA for 10+ years and has always had the fighter’s best interests in mind, but sometimes commissions have other things in mind and unfortunately it looks like Kevin has been screwed over by the politics. 

 

If the UG can collectively band together and see the likes of Christian Darrow and Toe to Toe dealt with, perhaps we can see that the Massachusetts MMA commission makes things right and we can see Kevin refereeing the UFC this weekend… dealing with a state commission can’t be more of a challenge than a 263-0 BJJ champ like some of the other threads are focused on…

  
8/24/10 12:14 PM
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ausgepicht
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donnybrook - Thanks guys,I guess setting up and teaching the training programs for all of the state referees and judges, attending all the meetings to help out with regs (spending $35 per mtg on parking!!!!)and never getting a dime for any of it doesn't go far anymore :)

Kevin
Yeah, that definitely doesn't sound like a team player. Lame red herring excuse they gave you. Apparently someone on the commission has something personal against you.
 
8/24/10 12:15 PM
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Hessian
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I would take the first email to a lawyer. Then show the second email, chances are you would be working the show.

If they are going to blacklist you from doing events then they will have to show why and justify the decision.
8/24/10 12:15 PM
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Voodoo
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That really doesn't make much sense that the only ABC approved referee trainer in MA (I am guessing) isn't going to ref at the UFC. You would think the commissioner would want to put his best foot forward...
8/24/10 12:15 PM
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Incredible Hulk
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Mark_Daniels: Not true. It's was the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission which stopped Kevin from reffing at UFC 118, not the UFC.

Sorry, but that's how it works for the most part. UFC typically says to a comission that they will use one, maybe 2 of that state's officials. But they are going to use the guys they want. If a state says no, then the UFC says thanks and we will take our money, name, etc elsewhere.
8/24/10 12:15 PM
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Petey B
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I knew Kevin throught the sport about 6 years ago and he was a great ref and an even better guy then. I'm sure that hasn't changed.

And just as an example of how good of a ref he is...you know how Dana White says that Herb Dean is the best because he stopped the Frank Mir/Tim Sylvia fight when no one else saw Tim Sylvia's forearm snap? If I remember correctly, Marcus Davis got someone in an arm bar and just before the guys forearm snapped, Kevin stopped the fight for the same reason before the guy ever took any serious damage to his arm.

Kevin would be perfect to ref the UFC fights and it's really a disappointment that he won't be able to realize his dream (yet). Maybe Dana can try to help him out. He deserves it for all he's put into MA MMA.
8/24/10 12:35 PM
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Hoosier Fight Club
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TTT for later
8/24/10 12:37 PM
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Hong Kong Phooey
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donnybrook - Thanks guys,I guess setting up and teaching the training programs for all of the state referees and judges, attending all the meetings to help out with regs (spending $35 per mtg on parking!!!!)and never getting a dime for any of it doesn't go far anymore :)

Kevin

 TTT
8/24/10 12:44 PM
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Mdot50
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Post the phone numbers of the MA athletic com so the UG MOB can attack
8/24/10 12:52 PM
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Attdude
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Damn he's from Watertown! I got family down there, who woulda thought MMA would get to that place!!
8/24/10 1:10 PM
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clattymine
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 There's no "I" in team Kevin!!! ... but wait there's an "I" in Kevin ...

Sorry man, sucks.

Keep up the good work!
8/24/10 1:12 PM
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Tom Lawlor
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 Listen to THIS true story.

I think it was 2002, and the AFC was about to hold their first event in Fort Lauderdale,FL (it featured lots of future notables like Fitch, Wes Sims, Wilson Gouveia,etc). 

Someone on a website was looking for a ride to the event.....low and behold it ended up being Kevin.

I packed my 19 year old ass into my crappy 2 seater truck, picked Kevin up and drove 3 hours down to the show and back that evening.

For my troubles I received a sweet mma.tv hat in the mail from Kirik=)

Probably 4 or 5 years later, I am up in Massachusetts getting ready to fight and low and behold, Kevin was my ref=)

This sucks.
8/24/10 1:23 PM
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Morgz
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 I don't know the whole story, but from reading this here, I feel badly for Kevin
8/24/10 1:29 PM
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Snowguy
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 I met Kevin at a dinner right when we started writing for the Massmma website...dude has been around and seen it all...my favorite story being how he was at an underground show in CA and Yves Edwards broke a dude's palette and their were these long white things on the matt and noone knew what they were until they realized the dudes teeth were purged from his jaw, root and all....
8/24/10 1:40 PM
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xxzygotexx
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That is bullshit...

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