Oct. 29, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC referee Steve Mazzagatti during a middleweight bout during UFC 137 at the Mandalay Bay event center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
"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. 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. 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. I can’t even count how many fights I’ve done which all has gone fine, but sometimes things are going to go bad. 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. You gotta understand, I don’t work for Dana and we [referees] don’t work for Dana. 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."
Longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) referee Steve Mazzagatti talks to Heavy.com about the criticism he receives from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, who blasts the man in black for his inconsistent calls (too late vs. too soon) when stopping fights inside the Octagon. Mazz insists he's trying to keep the fight clean, fair and within the rules -- and not in accordance with any pre-fight narrative fans or promoters may have established. How about it fight fans, is Mazzagatti the scapegoat when fights don't end the way we want them to? Or is he really as bad as White paints him out to be?