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Bad referee calls…

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The MMA world gained a new celebrity last Saturday night in referee Eduardo Herdy after his controversial decision in the Drew Dober and Leandro Silva match up, and with this, opening the flood gates on bad refereeing in MMA.

With MMA having so many components, it’s hard for ref’s to make the right call every time, but sometimes they make decisions that are downright wrong on every level. Here is our list of some terrible MMA referee decisions.

 

Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah D’Alelio –Strikeforce Challengers 18, referee: Steve Mazzagatti

Ronda did what Ronda does in this fight, securing a judo toss and subsequent armbar just 20 seconds into the bout, but mere moments after clamping down on D’Alelio’s arm the fight was stopped by referee Steve Mazzagatti with no sign of a tap or snap.

The replay revealed that Mazzagatti was prompted to stop the fight because Rousey quite clearly tells him that Sarah had tapped already.

In reality there was no degree of verbal or physical tap from D’Alelio whatsoever, and in fact the arm was arguably at the wrong angle to cause maximum damage creating a twisting of the arm rather than a bending at the elbow.

Regardless, the decision stands as one of Rousey’s quickest finish wins, and we can’t help but think a rematch would go pretty much the same way regardless of the terrible referee.

 

Josh Burkman vs. Jon Fitch – WSOF 3, referee: Steve Mazzagatti

Despite being held by another promotion, this fights terrible stoppage caused even the president of the UFC Dana White to voice his outrage.

Less than 30 seconds into the contest, Burkman drops Fitch with a combination of hooks, and after a short scramble Josh is able to pull guard and lock in a guillotine choke, ending with Burkman voluntarily releasing the hold and rolling over the now unconscious Fitch, all before referee Steve Mazzagatti was ever in the picture.

This stoppage caused outrage in quite the opposite way of the Rousey/D’Alelio contest, this time Mazzagatti being criticised for failing to recognise Fitch had been put to sleep.

Steve Mazzagatti failed to check on Fitch throughout the choke, deciding to just stand in a corner of the cage and not pay the fight infront of him much attention, until he sees the out cold Fitch lying on his back and finally decides the fight is now over.

 

Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig – UFC 115, referee: Yves Lavigne

Another prime example of referees listening to fighters in all the wrong ways.

At 1:45 of the first round Wiman had Danzig in all sorts of trouble with a mounted guillotine choke locked in, Wiman goes on to tell referee Yves Lavigne that Danzig is ‘out’ causing Yves to stop the contest, when actually Danzig was neither asleep or had submitted.

The fight ending sequence was up for much debate, on one side of the fence the ref simply cannot take what one fighter says in the contest for gospel, while on the other Yves did touch Danzig’s arm and it was limp.

Danzig argues that he was just relaxing into the choke to open up escapes because he wasn’t in any danger, being supported by many BJJ practitioners saying the guillotine wasn’t even properly locked in, something you’d hope an MMA ref would be able to notice.

Thankfully this fight was later partially resolved with a rematch between the two, which Wiman won via unanimous decision, but the controversial stoppage to their first contest still resides on both men’s records.

 

Pat Curran vs. Joe Warren – Bellator 60, referee: Jeff Malott

MMA is a brutal sport, but the way this Bellator Featherweight title fight ended does nothing to help the sport or its officials seem any more professional.

In the third round, challenger Curran lands a huge standing knee to the jaw of the champion Warren, causing him to stagger back to the cage visibly hurt. Following this up with a simply barbaric barrage of punches and knees sees Warren staggered and nearly dropped a further three times, with only the cage stopping the champions fall.

Despite this and Warren’s only defense being putting his arms out stretched and at one point even turning his back to Curran, referee Jeff Malott amazingly saw no reason to stop the contest.

The fight finally ended with a barrage of three or four unanswered uppercuts to the already unconscious Warren showcasing a new world champion, and an MMA fight that simply went on way too long.

 

Matt Riddle vs. Chris Clements – UFC 149, referee: Josh Rosenthal

This stoppage may not have ended the contest, but was controversial non the less, when referee Josh Rosenthal confuses a legal body kick with a low blow.

With 2:20 left of the first round Matt Riddle unloads a perfect body kick to Clements causing his foe to back up to the fence with his hands on his knees, causing referee Josh Rosenthal to step in, not to stop the fight, but to give Clements a breather.

Despite Riddle’s cries of ‘it hit his body’ and Clements not calling a low blow, Rosenthal saw fit to step in only to restart the fight seconds later after recognising his mistake.

Although this stoppage was only a few seconds long, it arguably gave Clements the time he needed to recover from the possibly fight ending shot. Clements would go on to succumb to an arm triangle choke in the third round, but the fight was eventually ruled a no contest due to Riddle failing a drug test.

 

Erik Perez vs. John Albert – The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale, referee: Kim Winslow

Another example of a submission stoppage out of nowhere, when referee Kim Winslow decides pulling a face constitutes a tap.

Early into the first round after mounting John Albert, Erik Perez transitions beautifully into a belly-down armbar. Being in obvious pain, Albert attempts to circle his legs around the head of Perez to escape the submission until Winslow steps in to stop the contest despite no verbal or physical tap.

The replay would show that Winslow stopped the fight due to the grimace on Albert’s face and his obvious discomfort in the submission, but as all good MMA fans know this is not reason enough to call off a fight.

We would love to see Winslow be locked in an armbar by a professional fighter and not have a painful look on her face.

 

Renan Barao vs. Urijah Faber – UFC 169, referee: Herb Dean

Despite being one of the best ref’s in the game, even Herb Dean can stumble every now and then, and this one being a UFC bantamweight title fight is one hell of a blunder.

After being dropped with a huge right hand earlier in the fight, Urijah is wobbled again by an overhand courtesy of Barao and goes down, but manages to secure an arm around Barao’s leg while in the sprawl position.

Holding on with one arm and covering his head with the other Faber would think he had time to recover, until Herb Dean stops the fight causing Faber to immediately protest showing he was in no way out of the fight.

Controversy continued in the replay as it showed Faber was in fact giving Dean the thumbs up showing he didn’t want the fight stopped, nevertheless, Barao retained his title and Faber would have just his third stoppage loss in nearly 40 fights.

 

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Dana White

UFC to Sell #VegasStrong Shirts and Donate the Proceeds

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Our hearts are heavy this week as we remember our brothers and sisters that lost their lives in Las Vegas.

The perpetrator Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, killing 59 people and injuring over 500 more.

It was the largest mass shooting in Modern American history.

Dana White and the UFC were quick to step up as they donated $1M to the residents of Las Vegas who were affected by this tragedy. White has also stated that this weekend’s UFC 216 card will be “dedicated to the entire city of Las Vegas.”

The UFC and Fanatics have also teamed up to sell #VegasStrong shirts and 100% percent of the proceeds will be donated.

These shirts are available at UFCStore.com

#VegasStrong

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Conor McGregor

Dana White posts sparring footage of Conor McGregor and Paulie Malignaggi

Matthew Wells

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What happens in the gym, stays in the gym.

That is, until recently when Conor McGregor’s camp posted photos of his former training partner Paul Malignaggi on the receiving end of what looked to be a knockdown during a sparring session. McGregor, preparing for the blockbuster fight against Floyd Mayweather taking place on August 26, brought in Malinaggi to help sharpen and test his skills in preparation for the boxing contest.

However, when pictures of their sparring battles surfaced, painting Malignaggi in a negative light. The former IBF/WBA World Champion boxer turned analyst took to social media to defend himself stating the images were taken out of context, sparking controversy.

Late Friday evening, UFC President Dana White out all of the rumors to bed by taking to Instagram to post a pair of clips from their sparring session, most notably, the infamous “knock down” that Malignaggi defended adamantly.

Video 1: The video shows McGregor blasting Malignaggi with a hard left hand that popped his head back and then following up with a series of punches causing Malignaggi to retreat from the pressure.

 

Video 2: The knockdown. Conor hits Malignaggi with a punching combination, sending the former boxing champion to the canvas.

While the knock down does come after a series of punches from McGregor, Malignaggi was not completely knocked out. With this video evidence coming to light, it seems the UFC Lightweight Champion’s hands may be better prepared for the upcoming fight against one of boxing’s best than previously thought.

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather takes place on August 26, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Contender Series

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series – Week 2 Recap

Matthew Wells

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The second week of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series provided some incredible moments from fighters looking to earn their shot in the UFC.

With five fights on the docket and Dana White handing out only one, possibly two UFC contracts at the end of the show, fighters not only had to win their fights, but make a statement to impress the boss. If nobody makes a strong enough impression, White could also decide to not award anyone with a contract.

That was not the case on Week 2 thanks to three exciting finishes.

Sean O’Malley said in video packages in the lead up that he shows up to knock people out and he did exactly that with an exciting first round finish of Alfred Khashakyan. O’Malley kept his undefeated record in tact by utilizing hard, fight-ending strikes that sent his opponent to the canvas in the closing minute of the first round. A hard right hand dropped Khashakyan for good and O’Malley ran over towards Dana White to let him know he’s ready for his shot.

The Ultimate Fighter 22 veteran Thanh Le got the fans on their feet with his impressive finish of Lazar Stojadinovic, and made his case with Laura Sanko for Dana White to give him a contract.  Stojadinovic, a solid boxer began fighting angry in the second round after getting caught with a few clean strikes, which only left more openings for Le. Moments later, Le would land a beautiful kick followed up by hard strikes to get the second-round stoppage.

Daniel Spohn, after a rough start to his fight against Angel De Anda, recovered from illegal blows to the back of the head to lock in a submission in the first round. Referee Big John McCarthy paused the action after three illegal blows by De Anda, and once the action resumed, Spohn blitzed across the cage to unleash strikes and eventually find the arm triangle submission.

At the conclusion of the show, Dana White decided to give Sean O’Malley an opportunity on the big stage by awarding him with a UFC contract due to his flashy, exciting style inside the Octagon.

Below are the full results of Week 2:

  • Daniel Spohn (16-5) vs. Angel De Anda (18-6)
    • Result: Daniel Spohn def. Angel De Anda via Submission (Arm Triangle), Round 1 – 3:10
  • Sean O’Malley (8-0) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (8-4)
    • Result: Sean O’Malley def. Alfred Khashakyan via KO (Punch), Round 1 – 4:14
  • Thanh Le (7-1) vs. Lazar Stojadinovic (15-6)
    • Result: Thanh Le def. Lazar Stojadinovic via KO (Strikes), Round 2 – 1:35
  • Sidney Outlaw (9-4) vs. Michael Cora (4-2)
    • Result: Sidney Outlaw def. Michael Cora via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
  • CJ Hamilton (11-5) vs. Casey Kenney (7-0-1)
    • Result: Casey Kenney def. CJ Hamilton via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
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