Mazzagatti comments on controversial decision

411mania.com was able to get exclusive comments from referee Steve Mazzagatti, who presided over the Rob Emerson vs. Gray Maynard no contest that took place this past Saturday during the TUF 5 season finale.

In regard to the decision:

“I stopped the fight as Rob was in pain. I did not see a tap, but I don’t see what it matters. In boxing we give both fighters an 8 count and may count one or both fighters out. In this sport we don’t have an 8 count. But both fighters were done. Should a fighter who is out win? I don’t have time to think about all this stuff but I hope we can learn. I do think it was the right call.

“I also want to say the call was mine. I informed the commission that both fighters were unable to continue. That was my call.”

I still disagree with the decision. Mazzagatti didn’t even acknowledge Maynard’s condition until after the fight. He was completely focused on Emerson.

In any event, a rematch between Maynard and Emerson is already in the works, as is a possible rematch between Nate Diaz and Manny Gamburyan. However, the Diaz vs. Gamburyan may have to wait because it’s looking likely as though he’ll undergo surgery.

Update: In a previous version of this story I incorrectly stated that Loretta Hunt fromThe Fight Network had reported that UFC president Dana White was seen speaking with Mazzagatti and NSAC officials after the fight was stopped. Loretta never reported that and it was irresponsible on my part to attribute those comments to her.

8 COMMENTS
  • says:

    I agreed with the decision. How many times did Emerson tap his opponent? It wasn’t three which has been the historical requirement so it wasnt a submission ( Unified Rules don’t state the quantity, a serious error IMO ). Maz could have ruled a technical submission, but chose not to after seeming Maynard on queer street. If Emerson just rolled over and baby punched Gray, the fight would have been his, so I have no idea where Gray has any ground to stand on.
    Maz is a solid official. Who could have anticipated a situation like that one. He has integrity and should be commended for shouldering the responsibility of making the call. Good job IMO.
    This was the best decision for all involved. Let em fight again.

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  • says:

    I also agree on the decision, can’t see how you can’t agree with it. I mean, theres no winner in that match, both were unable to defend themselves.

    The same decision should have been made in the hughes-newton bout where both men were unconcious. But instead hughes was declared the winner just because the referee only noticed newton being out. After it hughes woke up asking what happened. Total bs to give him the win. And it would have been total bs to give maynard the win.

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  • says:

    If you don’t agree with my argument, that’s fine. But to say you can’t see how I don’t agree with it? Emerson tapped and Maynard was out, you’ll get no argument from me. But Mazzaggatti wasn’t even looking at Maynard. He was focused entirely on Emerson. It’s the referee’s right to stop a fight if a fighter can’t continue, but I don’t believe he made the determination about Maynard until after he stopped the fight.

    I don’t think Mazzagatti is a bad official and I don’t think there is any conspiracy theory. I just think he made the wrong call in basing his decision on information he received after the fact. I’m sure that once he saw the doctor enter the cage that he wanted to get the decision right, but the old adage that applies to other sports that you can’t call what you can’t see should apply to MMA. I find it hard to believe he knew Maynard was out until after the bout was over.

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  • says:

    Overall I agreed with the decision. Both fighters were out and No Contest just makes sense. In programming this is known a race condition. I also agree with Sam that it should be the ref’s call and Steve Mazzagatti did seem to take liberties with this call(s). In the future the refs has to quickly assess both fighters before making the call on a tap. Steve’s within his rights to call ‘time’ and then declare the winner. Maybe that should be the order of operations for every tap. He yells ‘time’, quick assessment and declare the winner.

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  • says:

    So do you think it’s a wrong decision or do you think it’s wrong how the decision was made? Because it’s not really safe for the fighters if the judge is gonna have to wait to see if both fighters are out before he stops the bout. In this case he saw one fighter being out, he stopped the fight, then he saw the other fighter being out as well. Then he told the commision what he saw, both fighters being unable to continue, I just don’t see the controversy.

    I mean, as soon the referee sees one fighter being unable to defend himself the referee should stop the fight. And if the other fighter happens to be out as well then it should be ruled a no contest/draw.

    If both fighters are unconcious, but the referee only notice one of them being unconcious should he declare the other fighter the winner? It just doesn’t make any sense.

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  • says:

    I agree with Sam and most folks who thought the call was bad. Why? Because the ref jumped in to save Emerson, not Maynard. End of story. The ref saw what we all saw, Emerson getting his ass handed to him by an aggressive Maynard and he needed to send Emerson to see the doctor. What should have been a sidenote is that Maynard had really bad form on what turned out to be his finishing move and he did more damage to himself than Emerson ever did to him.

    Even if the call was technically correct, the call was an injustice in terms of determining a winner. The worst thing that could come of this is a rematch. Gray has proven that he would be making steps backward if he wastes any more time on the pretty-boy surfer-dude. Emerson probably shouldn’t be on the table for discussion as a UFC fighter. But, thanks to the controversial decision, he’s somehow relevant. That really sucks.

    To Gray Maynard: Move on. You won the fight. Forget that silly reality show . Ask Joe Silva to set you up with a formidable opponent who will make a fight worthy of TV time. Anyone but Emerson.

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  • says:

    “If both fighters are unconcious, but the referee only notice one of them being unconcious should he declare the other fighter the winner? It just doesn’t make any sense.”

    Yep, exactly. I don’t think an official should call what he can’t see unless there is an official rule in place that allows instant replay. If Mazzagatti had different positioning and saw both Emerson tap and Maynard go out, then I think that would have been the right call. It doesn’t make sense to you but it doesn’t make sense to me that he made the call after people came into the cage and had to tell him what happened.

    Bottom line, Emerson tapped and Maynard didn’t. Maynard went out but Mazzagatti wasn’t even aware of it until after the fact.

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  • Jim says:

    A fight ends via decision, KO (including ref’s stoppage), or Tapout. In this case Emerson tapped. Everyone saw it, the tap stopped the fight. Everything after the tap is secondary. If Emerson didn’t tap, then I can understand a “no contest”. Once someone taps, the match is over.

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