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Archive for July 2012


Rousey vs. Kaufman Preview

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Alistair Overeem Thinks Junior dos Santos Is Scared of Him

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Video: Invicta FC 2 Full Fights

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RARE VIDEO: Wanderlei Silva and Rudimar Fedrigo chuteboxe training pads

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Ref Steve Mazzagatti: I Don’t Work For Dana White

Few have been in UFC president Dana White’s crosshairs lately more than referee Steve Mazzagatti. After recent UFC events, White has criticized the judging and officiating in mixed martial arts, and Mazzagatti’s name often comes up.

White even ripped Mazzagatti last week after UFC 149 in Calgary -- and Mazzagatti didn’t officiate the event.

“Mazzagatti still works – nuff said,” White told reporters last week while explaining poor officiating. “The fact that a commission would actually let this guy referee fights still is just beyond my comprehension.”

It’s clear that Mazzagatti’s officiating makes White’s blood pressure rise. But few have heard from the other side. Media caught up this week with Mazzagatti for an exclusive interview to get his take on officiating.

Mazzagatti defended his body of work and his refereeing colleagues. His overall message is fighters make fights, not the refs.

“[White] has criticized us and we get a lot of criticism for not standing them up – at least I do,” Mazzagatti said in a telephone interview. “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.

“They’ve got to be the entertainer. I don’t make the fight what everyone expects it to be. All we do is enforce the rules – period -- and make sure it’s a clean and fair fight.”

White spoke after UFC 149 about there being no accountability from the governing bodies for poor officiating. And there were a few bad instances of refereeing that stood out last week to further the UFC President's claim that MMA needs better officiating. For example, Matt Riddle landed a clean liver kick, hurting his opponent, that ref Josh Rosenthal thought was a groin shot and he paused the fight. The heavyweight bout between Cheick Kongo and Shawn Jordan also stayed excruciatingly long in the clinch while both fighters held each other up on the cage with no break in the action by the referee.

Mazzagatti said fighters, particularly those who practice wrestling and jui-jitsu, ask all the time how long they can work on the ground. The official also said as long as fighters are “trying to work their game,” he’s fine leaving it there, regardless of the reaction from the crowd or the UFC executives.

“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,” Mazzagatti said. “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.”

Mazzagatti admits he is not perfect. One bad call in particular that still bothers Mazzagatti was against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson in 2008.

Johnson was painfully poked in the eye by Kevin Burns but Mazzagatti ruled it a TKO. The bad call put in motion instant replay in Nevada under special circumstances. Mazzagatti later apologized to Johnson.

“That’s the one that I really blew,” Mazzagatti said.

But he disagrees with White’s harsh assessment that he doesn’t deserve to have a job officiating MMA.

“I can’t even count how many fights I’ve done which all has gone fine, but sometimes things are going to go bad,” Mazzagatti explained. “It’s just like good fighters. Sometimes it goes bad and they get subbed or they get beat, and that’s the way it goes. Unfortunately, we’re in a high-profile position. We can’t see it all.”

Mazzagatti said he hasn’t talked to White about the rash of criticism. But he has had a few conversations with people around White. Overall, he's not too bothered and described White as “A good dude. I don’t have anything personal to say about him.” Their disagreement is strictly about what goes on inside the Octagon.

Mazzagatti said he will work next at UFC 151 in Las Vegas. That card is headlined by the light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson.

“You gotta understand, I don’t work for Dana and we [referees] don’t work for Dana,” Mazzagatti said. “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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Cesar Gracie: Nick Diaz Will Return, Wants Anderson Silva in Comeback Fight

On Friday night, Cesar Gracie confirmed what most of us had always suspected: that Nick Diaz's "retirement" wouldn't stick. In a statement posted on, Gracie, who trains and manages Diaz, acknowledged that the 28-year-old formerStrikeforce champ would return to the UFC octagon whenever he regains a fighter's license. That's not so surprising. But what he said later on? Well, that was the interesting part.

Denied a chance to fight welterweight championGeorges St-Pierre, Diaz plans to ask for a match against UFC middleweight championAnderson Silva.


Gracie said the request will be "respectfully" made and that Diaz simply wants to test himself against the longtime champ.

"Silva’s camp has been speaking of a fight with GSP, possibly even at a catch weight," he wrote. "Nick will take that fight in a minute but has told me that should Silva decide not to drop at all, he will move up to 185lbs to face the Champ."

Objectively, Diaz seems an unlikely candidate to get the slot. Not only will he be coming off his second drug suspension at the hands of the Nevada state athletic commission (NSAC), but he also lost his last match in the controversial UFC 143 main event against Carlos Condit.

In the meantime, the complexion of the UFC's middleweight division has changed significantly, aided by the rise of Chris Weidman alongside the growth of veterans Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch. At the same time, there's no denying that Diaz is one of the most intriguing personalities in mixed martial arts, as well as a major fighting talent.

Gracie said that he is expecting to meet with UFC president Dana White on August 6 to discuss Diaz's future. But Diaz's future is mostly out of White's hands for the time being, as long as Diaz remains suspended. The penalty handed down by NSAC makes him ineligible to reapply for a license until February 2013. But Gracie said he will contest that ruling through legal means in hopes of overturning the decision.

"To address the NSAC suspension, I will say that we have appealed to the courts and if things go our way, it will be plausible that Nick could return as early as sometime at the end of this year," he wrote. "For too long NSAC bureaucrats have acted with malicious incompetence towards the fighters. We will challenge them in court."

For now, Diaz remains in a state of limbo. The possibility of fighting Silva seems slim, but at least we know for sure that at some point, Diaz will be back competing in the cage.

But you have to agree A Diaz vs Silva fight would sell much better then any other possible fight out there.


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VIDEO: All Access: Ronda Rousey Preview

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VIDEO: Chael Sonnen's 2012 London Olympics Wrestling Preview

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Travis Browne vs. Antonio Silva to Headline UFC on FX 5

 Travis Browne won't be fighting at UFC on FOX 4 next week anymore, but he will headline UFC on FX 5 in October.

Browne will meet Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva on Oct. 5 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, the UFC confirmed on Friday. USA Today first reported the news. 

The event marks the promotion's first in the "City of Lakes" since UFC 87 in 2008.

Browne was scheduled to fight Ben Rothwellnext week, but after Rothwell pulled out of the fight due to an injured ankle Browne was left without an opponent. The UFC decided to leave him off the card and move him over to their fifth FX card. The undefeated Browne (13-0-1) most recently defeated Chad Griggs via submission at UFC 145.

Silva (16-4), the former Strikeforce and EliteXC big man, lost his UFC debut to Cain Velasquez in May. He enters the fight stuck in a two-fight losing streak, with his last win coming against Fedor Emelianenko in Feb. 2011. 

The UFC is expected to announce more fights for the card in the coming weeks.

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VIDEO: UFC 150: Henderson vs Edgar Extended Preview

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