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UFC 281’s Israel Adesanya jokes in defeat: ‘Bring back Steve Mazzagatti - ‘I would have been fine!’

Fast forward to 3:17 ...

A Steve Mazzagatti mention was not on our UFC 281 bingo card last night (Sat., Nov. 12, 2022), yet here we are.

At UFC 281, which took place inside Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y,, Israel Adesanya was stopped for the first time in his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career when his biggest rival, Alex Pereira, unloaded on him in the fifth and final round (watch highlights). After the sad performance, during his post-fight interview, Adesanya claimed the stoppage was early and that he could have continued.

He believes that if disgraced MMA referee, Steve Mazzagatti, was refereeing, “The Last Stylebender” would have been okay.

“Ugh, f—k, my ego would say, ‘at least let me go out on my shield,’ but I don’t think I would have gone out because I was still there,” Adesanya told the media after his loss. “I’ve seen worse stoppages. F—k, bring back Steve Mazagatti. Bring back Steve Mazagatti, I would have been fine. You know, he might have won that round, but I would still be champion.”

Marc Goddard was the official on duty who intervened last night. He is widely regarded as one of the better referees on the current circuit.

Mazagatti, meanwhile, was once a mainstay of MMA referees. He has been out of action since 2015 and last refereed a UFC fight in 2013 at UFC 168. The former referee has since transitioned to working for Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) in a less violent role — he now runs the clock after being basically blacklisted.

And UFC President, Dana White, couldn’t be happier.

For complete UFC 281: “Adesanya Vs. Pereira” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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