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Fight of the Day #1: Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir

These things don’t last long on YouTube, so stop what you’re doing and watch. One major topic of discussion that has resulted from “Breaking Point” is Steve Mazzagatti’s questionable stoppage/point-deduction after Lesnar hit Mir in the back of the head. Though fighters usually get multiple warnings before a point is taken away for rabbit-punching (see most recently: St. Pierre vs. Hughes at UFC 79), Mazzagatti jumped in immediately, deducted a point, and put the fighters back on their feet. As the theory goes, Mazzagatti actually jumped in to stop the fight, but when he realized that it was a mistake, he covered his ass with an illegal-strike call. Did that cost Lesnar the fight? Let us know what you think…

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BCdogman- February 8, 2008 at 12:10 am
Brock does have good stand up!! I don't know what your talking about boxofpickles did you not see Brock land 2 very fast right hands on mir that sent him to the ground.
I would bet that if they fight again that Brock would win.
Jemaleddin- February 7, 2008 at 2:57 am

I don't know if they're more likely to cause lasting trauma, but if you've been cracked in the head, you'd know that it can affect your eyesight and really kick your ass. I get nauseated from a punch to the back of the head. You wouldn't know it from looking at them, but car designers spend a LOT of time getting headrests right for just this reason.

But that's not why they're illegal.

They're illegal because the California State Athletic Commission made them illegal when they first drew up the Unified Rules, and the New Jersey State Athletic Commission adopted them. There are a lot of stories about how they arrived at the rules, and not all of them are flattering.

But rules are rules, and if having them means more sanctioned fights, I'm all for it.
FightNoob- February 5, 2008 at 1:06 am
Honest question from a casual fan with no organized fight experience: why are punches to the back of the head illegal? Are they really more likely to result in head trauma than smashing someone in the face/side of the head? Seems like a weird rule to me but I clearly must be missing something.
Nesta17- February 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm
that was complete BullSH*T!!! Lesnar got robbed 10000%.... watcing that fight, w/ 10 of my boys we all thought the fight was over because of stoppage... but to find out that lesnar was deducted a point was crazy!! not even 1 Warning... what was that all about!!! he got robbed bottom line!!! i mean dont get me wrong, Lesnar needs a good 2 years of JuJitsu training to be a dominant Heavyweight, but w/ that strength and his wrestling backgroudn he is a force to be reckoned w/!! he should of won that fight HANDS DOWN!!!
TrouserSnout- February 4, 2008 at 2:57 am
Jemaleddin....your right. Just watched the vid again, and Mir took quite a few shots to the back of the head. I don't know if they were flagrant or if they are just from inexperience.
Jemaleddin- February 4, 2008 at 12:07 am
Is everybody else watching the same fucking fight? 1 punch to the back of the head? I saw 5, 2 of them clearly intentional.

Punches 1 and 2: 3 hammer fists while Frank is on the move at 4:39-4:38, the first landing on the side, the other two on the back.

Brock switches to uppercuts, for a second.

Punch 3: Frank turns away as Brock is swinging, and Brock lands a grazing blow to the back of the head at 4:37.

Punch 4 and 5: Brock is looking straight down at the back of the head as he brings down 2 hammer fists aimed squarely at the back of Mir's head at 4:36-4:35.

On the second replay that the UFC shows, you can only see punches 3, 4 and 5.

We're not talking about a guy in the guard swinging blindly. That was some flagrant shit.
The Agent- February 3, 2008 at 11:38 pm
Borck looked really confused, he hardly tried to get out of Mir`s guard.
boxofpickles- February 3, 2008 at 10:57 pm
in my opinion, brock lost fair n square, yes mir did roll over and got hit in the back of the head, but also u must realize a fighter has to be able to control himself under any circumstances, there are no excuses, should there had been a warning instead of a deducted point, thats up to the ref, the ref is hired to call the fight up to his best capabilities, if you dont like it hound ufc for hiring shitty refs, and if brock was so good, when the reset was made he should have been able to do the same thing over again,

in my opinion brock can on charge, spear, and then ground and pound the opponent, i havent seen any stand up skill from him, he stands on his heels, and he is dumbwhitted when it comes to awareness of being submitted, and from what it seems, he doesnt have as powerful punches as everyone has been saying, cause he hit mir several times and not once did mir go limp

my opinion on mir, he got the job down, he took the hits long enough for his opponent to get unfocused and make a mistake, and with that mistake lesnar made, mir took advantage and one the fight
Th- February 3, 2008 at 9:01 pm
Clearly Lesnar hit Mir in the back of the head multiple times. A strike to the back of the head is an illegal strike. Mazzagati deducted a point exactly as he should have.
LawDog4616- February 3, 2008 at 7:59 pm
I'm glad this was brought up, it has been bothering me all weekend. Lesnar had Mir beat. This should have been Big John's fight to ref. Mazzegatti sucks. And what was up with the fans booing Lesnar? You can't hold it against the guy that he used to be a "Pro Wrestler." I agree fake wrestling sucks. But I'm from Minnesota and watched Lesnar wrestle through college. The guy is an incredible athlete. He is going to be a handful for any heavyweight out there once he gets more MMA training. If Mir hadn't been given the time to recover he would have been out in 10-15 more seconds. He turned his head, and it was only 1 punch. I agree with fightfan. If you watch the Griffin/Tibeau fight, Mazzegatti did the right thing by warning him several times. I think the Lesnar camp has a legimate Bitch. GO SHIT IN YOUR HAT MAZZEGATTI!
Mugato- February 3, 2008 at 6:56 pm
Frank Mir's mom is hot! so is his wife.

if anyone's a Mir fan you can catch him at Spearmint Rhino here in vegas. he's a bouncer their.
Tim Sylvia's pussy- February 3, 2008 at 6:44 pm
frank mir looked really intimidated before the fight started
Chuck Norris- February 3, 2008 at 6:44 pm
everyone better stop talking shit about Mazzegatti. that man can grow one hell of a mustache. Magnum PI baby.
Greg- February 3, 2008 at 6:41 pm
There was atleast two more head punches before the one that got the point deducted. Mazzagatti probably saw the force at which lesnar was hitting and automatically expected that Mir was at a disadvantage from that rabbit punch.
James- February 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm
In Mazzegatti's defense: Brock did attain the exact same position he was in after it was previously stopped. It could be argued that Frank would eventually found a way to find that knee bar earlier in the fight had it not been stopped.
fightfan- February 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm
I am NOT a Lesnar fan, but that POINT deduction in the opening seconds was the WORSE call I have ever seen in the UFC. It is like Mir had to pay Pornstache before the fight to do anything to help him????

Just for example. Go and watch the Griffin/Tibeau fight. Gleison repeatedly hit the back of Griffin's head. Over and over again the ref warned Gleison. At one point the ref even grabbed Gleison's hand and told him again not to punch the back of the head. Atleast 5 or 6 punches to the back of the head, AT LEAST in that one.

It happens in EVERY fight and EVERY event. They are usually not on purpose. It is a fight for Christ sake. People are punching trying to KO an opponent. Usually the fighter getting punched simply rolls over and THE ONLY PART of their head showing is the BACK!!!!!

This is the ONLY time I have ever seen a ref take a pint away for back of the head strikes. And it happens probably 10-20 in every event, USUALLY with as many warnings and Lesnar gets screwed, also being a new fighter, because Mir rolled over WHILE he was punching and hit him in the back of the head.

That was total horseshit!!
Brian- February 3, 2008 at 5:17 pm
WOOO! Frank Mir! Awsome job. we all know that brock is a giant mass of intimidation and frank mir stepped up and came out the victor!

I for one dont care too much about Lesners past in wrestling but if he wants to play in the octogon he needs to work on EVERY aspect of the cage, not just throwing his massive fists at the target!

Grats to Frank Mir!
BIG CHRIS- February 3, 2008 at 3:33 pm
I think CP is correct on this one, that was the worst officiating I have ever seen in the octagan, Where is Big John at when you need him?? If Brock was allowed to continue he would have finished that fight right there....Consider the Matt hughes vs. Royce Gracie fight, Matt Hughes was smashing the back of Royce's head over and over, way worse than Brock's one little rabbit punch in this fight.....and they let Matt finish it.....This was Brock's fight all they way....Give him Tim Sylvia next, That would be a great match....
Douchebaggery- February 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm
eventually someone is going to have their face caved in by Brock's anvil sized fists of death. such power is something all heavyweights should respect. compared to the hype and taking his inexperience into account he looked great. I would like to see him against a good striker like Sylvia to check his chin but he looked pretty solid in basic aspects of mma. Mir's skill level saved him
Corey from Spokane- February 3, 2008 at 3:23 pm
That blow to the back of the head was because of Mir rolling away, not intentional or Lesnars fault at all. Steve Mazagatti is a waste of life, he always screws up in matches...He shouldnt have stopped them or deducted a point. I think that match would have ended very soon after that if he hadnt stood them back up. Mir looked helpless and overwhelmed. I still think Lesnar should fight again. Put him against that piece of crap sylvia. Just for the record though....Good Knee bar, he had a hell of grip on him. Did you see Lesnar jump and take both of them into the air HAHA
Olie- February 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm
Erm, you say learn some BJJ like he’ll do it in 5 minutes. It’s taken MMA fighters who specialise in BJJ such as Mir absolutely years and years of dedication to perfect the art and utilise it successfully in a fast paced MMA environment. Brock even admitted after the fight that they had actually prepared A LOT about protecting his legs before the fight – as this is one of the wrestler’s weaknesses, yet you could see Mir visibly working for his leg. It’s not like it happened in a split second!

He’s very 1 dimensional. Get them down and try and GnP. Because he’s so big and strong he had Mir in some very uncomfortable positions which he should have finished the fight in. Yet his arsenal is not vast enough for him to utilise anything other than just trying to punch. On the other hand it looks like Kimbo has much more skill than Lesnar in terms of an all round game and Kimbo is a boxer.

I think stopping the fight with no warning about back of the head was wrong, but it might be something that the organisation are trying to clamp down on to protect the fighters more??? If so it should have been known to the fighters that any ‘rabbit punching’ would not be tolerated. There was zero tolerance. So I kinda feel sorry for Lesnar in that sense. Regardless, it didn’t cost Lesnar the fight. That’s just a lame excuse.
Than- February 3, 2008 at 2:31 pm
Whats weird is Zuffa already pulled the other fights from youtube but not this one, I think they might "overlook" it for a little longer to get some more recognition.
Old, Bald and Irish- February 3, 2008 at 2:30 pm
Brock and his people are gonna look at this fight and everyone is gonna say the same thing:

"Brock, hit the jui jitsu....hard."

Once he gets some BJJ down, God help the next guy who goes in the octagon with him.

He's fast, he's strong, he can punch, he's not intimadated by kicks. Once he applies his wrestling skill to a BJJ ground game, he'll be unstoppable.

This was my favorite fight of the night. Ricardo Almeida vs. Rob Yundt was my biggest disappointment. After seeing the highlight clip of Yundt here at Cage Potato, I was really looking forward to that match. But Almeida stopped him cold.

At least Yundt did that cool flip to try and dislodge Almeida. Unfortunately, Almeida was hanging on Yundt like a backpack on a 5th grader!