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Midnight Mania! Teddy Atlas slams referee for bogus Frank Mir stoppage, ‘He could have really got hurt bad’

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Triller Fight Club: Jake Paul v Ben Askren Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images for Triller

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Frank Mir vs. Kubrat Pulev should never have been booked.

No disrespect is intended towards the former UFC Heavyweight champion, but he’s a submission fighter first and foremost, and the 42 year old has lost four of his last five MMA bouts. He was never going to do well vs. Pulev, the highly accomplished Bulgarian boxer who fought Anthony Joshua last December!

Part of the blame certainly lies on Triller for booking the fight in the first place, but referees are in place to protect fighters. Ideally, they’ll protect fighters from their opponent, themselves, s—ty matchmaking — whatever’s necessary! However, much to the dismay of just about everyone watching, referee Dan Miragliotta was fully prepared to allow Pulev to perform a Mortal Kombat-style finisher on Mir. Pulev thankfully showed mercy, and Miragliotta since defended his decision-making.

Boxing trainer and and analyst Teddy Atlas was less than impressed. Speaking on his podcast, Atlas was gravely concerned about what took place at Triad Combat.

“We don’t exaggerate these things, we don’t look to do that, but [Frank Mir] could have really got hurt bad,” Atlas told listeners (via BloodyElbow). “I mean, if it wasn’t for Pulev, not the ref – that ref should never fight again – not for the ref, not because of anything other than, really, where you wouldn’t expect it; Pulev had to be his own ref, he had to be his own conscience. He had to use control, discipline, character, humanity...”

“First of all, if that’s the guy, why is [Miragliotta] in the ring?” Atlas added later. “He doesn’t know why he’s in the ring. If there’s ever an example of why you need a referee, that was it; to protect a guy, to save a guy, to save a life. To literally save a life, and he’s standing there. [Pulev] could throw another two, three punches if he didn’t decide not to throw them. I was trying to get an answer to why—I’m a stubborn son of a gun, you know that, and sometimes I want an answer. And I’m saying, ‘How is that the ref? And how is he allowed to be the ref? And how does he not recognize that moment is the moment he needed to be a ref?”

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