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Maybe Steve Mazzagatti Isn’t the Worst Referee in the History of the World

(Props: MMA TKO)

Though Dana White has previously suggested that he’s not even qualified to watch MMA, Steve Mazzagatti once again found himself in the center of an officiating crisis at last night’s "Ultimate Fighter" Finale.  This time, Mazzagatti made the unpopular, though ultimately correct decision to stop the Jon Jones-Matt Hamill bout when he saw these illegal elbow strikes from Jones.  In order to figure out whether the illegal blows were really the cause of the damage that left Hamill unable to continue, Mazzagatti became the first UFC ref to consult the video replay now at his fingertips thanks to a recent NSAC ruling.  NSAC director Keith Kizer later called it an effective use of the replay, sayng, "The only call you can make in that situation is a disqualification."

Of course, if you still wanted to bust Mazzagatti’s chops, you could ask him why he didn’t stop the fight sooner, back when Jones was unloading on Hamill from the mount.  Jones was so thoroughly dominating him that he even had time to glance up at Mazzagatti as if to say, ‘You’re seeing this, right?’  It works for Roy Nelson, but Jones wasn’t so fortunate. 

Looks like "Bones" got a little too creative for his own good this time out.  This one will go down as a loss on his record, but no one will forget the way he was dismantling Hamill prior to venturing outside the rules for a few regrettable seconds.

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Clinch-Smash- December 8, 2009 at 12:04 am
@ UFC fan

The fact is that i due agree with the DQ, but all the other shit you say is unneeded to make your point, so back to me previous statement.... JUST END IT!
Everlast66- December 7, 2009 at 2:06 pm
I found a video of the fight and the post fight interview, but it's crappy quality and it's from a site I rather not attract attention to.

Anyway, the portion that I was referring to goes as follows:
Joe Rogan says: "Now, you won this fight by disqualification. The elbows Jon Jones were hitting you with were illegal. Give us your thoughts on what it feels like to win this fight this way."

Hamill replies: "It happened so fast I couldn't defend with one arm, so...Jon Jones did a really good job, so...I will come back."

Joe plainly states that he won and he still acts like he lost. So, either he just felt completely dominated despite winning or he had no idea he won the fight, which still makes me think he thought he lost by TKO even if Joe states how he lost.

Also, wouldn't elbows like that from the bottom be 6-12, not 12-6? A technicality, but that's really all you need when it comes to rules.

As for this setting a precedent for other fighters to stop fighting after an illegal blow just to pick up a DQ win, I doubt that. Most other fighters have more integrity than that, they wouldn't be fighters otherwise. At most they might just take a breather and then try to finish the fight in a showcase manner, so that way they get a win and actually make a good impression on people instead of just taking a DQ win, And most illegal blows are accidental, which would result in a No Contest, but there is always the problem of whether or not a fighter is just trying to make an illegal blow seem accidental. Hughes swears GSP kicked him in the nuts to set up the high kick, and that is honestly a good tactic, even if it doesn't exactly have a place in MMA.

My only question is how exactly is accidental defined? Jon Jones obviously didn't know those elbows were illegal, even if his look up at the referee when it finally gets caught is somewhat a "oh shit I got caught" look it is most likely a "I finally won this match" look, and therefore it was in some ways accidental - he meant to use that strike, but he had no intention of using an illegal strike as he did not know it was illegal. That's why illegal strikes usually results in a warning and a point deduction, because sometimes you just screw up, but if this was an accidental illegal blow then wouldn't it be ruled a No Contest?

I still think this match could have gone longer, though. Really, it seems to me like Hamill thought he had lost by TKO and that was why he didn't get up after Jones was pulled off of him, regardless of his shoulder.
WUWU- December 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm
What happens the next time someone gets kicked in the junk? Can he just say he's too messed up to continue and get the win by disqualification? The fight was ended by an illegal blow. This is just typical inconsistency in the officiating and adjudicating that is plaguing this sport right now, and making it look foolish.
UFC fan- December 7, 2009 at 10:46 am
people like clinch-suck, and dick23 are hopeless and moronic they never learn, facts are right in front of their stupid faces and they keep beating the dead horse. We boys you can keep hating me all you want but your stupid as fuck to think Jones didnt deserve the DQ, luckily for the rest of the reasonable world it is a done dada, he lost cause he has ZERO control and is a fuckup waiting to happen. Course so are his fanboys.
steampunk22- December 7, 2009 at 9:58 am
@Dru23 Nobody knew at the time that his shoulder was fucked, Mazzagotta asked Hamill if he could continue and Hamill said "No", not "No I cannot continue because my shoulder is probably broken but my nose is fine so don't worry about those elbows that Jones threw". Regardless of the whether or not Hamill could continue as a result of the shoulder damage, that was not apparent at the time, the only thing that WAS apparent was Jones landing two/three illegal blows, so now he pays the price. Hindsight is 20/20 is doesn't change the fact that Jones striking was illegal. Its too bad because up until then he had a highlight reel fight going for him and its unfortunate that it has kind of a dark cloud over it now.

@Cestus The jist of it is that Jones buried himself when he threw OBVIOUSLY intentional illegal strikes. He has previously gotten away with his striking as being "accidental" but due to the obvious intent, he sorta fucked himself. Read the following it will explain it more in depth, a little combination of the NAC and the Unified Rules:

If I fighter cannot continue, partially or wholly as a result of damage sustained by illegal blows, it will be ruled a disqualification regardless of what round the fight is in. Thats why it was not ruled a No Contest

"Doctor Stoppage: the referee will call for a time out if a fighter's ability to continue is in question as a result of apparent injuries (such as a large cut). The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead."

"Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction. Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is injured and unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.

No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest"."
Cestus84- December 7, 2009 at 8:53 am
I understand the fight being stopped for the illegal blows, which I believe didn't do much damager, but thats besides the point, Im thinking, wouldn't the fight be considered a no contest? Like if the fight passes a certain length, then it goes to the score cards but this was in the first round. Im a little lost as to why is wasn't ruled a no contest.
Dru23- December 7, 2009 at 7:23 am
@ ufc fan:

so now all of a sudden because it proves your point the nsac is perfect and what it says is solid gold? the fact of the matter is that was wrong, those elbows ARE NOT the ones the caused the damage, and those elbows had nothing to do with the fact of him not being able to continue, which is what both kizer and mazz are using as reasoning, the reason he couldnt continue was his shoulder, had nothing to do with the 2 downward elbows (which as was previously stated were only 2 of the nearly 100 strikes thrown from that position). so therefor their logic is flawed. they actually didnt even cause the cut, but even if they did, the cut is not the reason hammill could not continue by any means. so please do not tell me "shut up" because jones WAS treated unfairly. good day to you sir.
Clinch-Smash- December 7, 2009 at 2:21 am
HeadsWillRoll Says:
Sun, 12/06/2009 - 13:29

@UFC Fan:

I'm sure that took a lot of courage. I'm glad people like you are out there defending our precious country.

@ UFC Fan:

You see what you did here. Really nice integrity and mil bearing. It's fucks like you that give the Mil a bad name, thanks alot fucker, your such a piece of shit, really just do us all a favor and Lift your head up high and BLOW your brains out!

Goose- December 7, 2009 at 1:14 am
You're right Ben, Mazzagotti is not the worst ref, that honor belongs to Dan Miragliotta.
UFC fan- December 6, 2009 at 11:49 pm
"NSACs Keith Kizer explains to the decision to DQ Jon Jones at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale due to illegal elbows to the face of Matt Hamill:

Kizer said despite the numerous legal blows that came in the barrage - as many as 85 depending on who's counting - the fact that the illegal blows were shown to have caused the damage meant disqualification was the only proper call.

"At the end of the day, you have the illegal elbows that cut [Hamill] up, and that's why it was stopped," Kizer told ( "The only call you can make in that situation is a disqualification.

"Because there was definitely some damage done by lawful elbows, it was difficult to determine what caused what until he saw the instant replay. Then it was very easy. It would have been a tough call for him without the instant replay just due to the good strikes that preceded the illegal blows. That's why we added it."

you idiots need to shut up who thinks Jones was treated unfairly.
steampunk22- December 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm
If the fight was stopped earlier, we wouldn't be in this lil mess thats for sure. But then what would we have to debate about? ;P

Jones wont slip in rankings and gets a loss that everyone knows isnt a loss, Hamill will train harder for his next fight and knows he's got to be better to survive in LHW, everyone learns to be a little more careful on the playground next recess break. Win/Win/Win in a weird sort of a way. Lessons learned.
NomadRip- December 6, 2009 at 8:38 pm
^^ Exactly. Look at the .gif at the top of the page. Hamill's eyes are closed and filled with blood. He is flailing his arms around blindly, which is not intelligently defending himself.

The 2 elbows you see in that .gif are blows 89 and 90 from the time Jones mounted him. If even half of the blows Jones landed (more did), that is still Hamill getting clubbed in the noggin 45 times.

The last 2 were illegal, but the fight should have been stopped long before that point.
LOL420- December 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm
man...mazagatti is absolutely ridiculous. yes, bones threw the illegal blow, but its not like those 2 elbows are the reason hammill was the reason hammill couldnt get up in the first place. the fight SHOULDVE been called way before that.

that was some of the most vicious ground and pound ive ever seen. sure, its a loss, but this in no way should affect his status and his rankings in the light heavyweight division. Bones is for real, seriously. ive never seen matt hammill get his ass whooped like that, and hes a TOUGH dude.

oh well...i dont agree with the decision, but at least for once mazzagatti prevented a fighter from receiving unnecessary punishment.
UFC fan- December 6, 2009 at 5:51 pm
Oh 831 son we have established along time ago that you are all talk and no action, you couldn't beat your own meat much less come kick my ass, you are fag from cali, this to was long ago established you can knock off the hard core it doesn't fit you. Relax before you blow a gasket...or maybe you will blow headwillbabble up there, who cares.
cagefightmon- December 6, 2009 at 5:07 pm
Why not bring back strikes to the top of the head, eye gouging, groin shots and anything else illegal. I can't believe this is so talk about. The fighter made a HUGE mistake in using illegal strikes regardless of him winning the fight.
Nice work Mazzagatti. Shut your fat head up, Dana!
steampunk22- December 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm
^Barc You and I agree on every point about this fight. Cheers!
Dru23- December 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm
the rules state this, "if a fighter cant continue DUE TO AN ILLEGAL MOVE than it CAN be ruled a dq". hammill said himself he couldnt continue because of his shoulder, had nothing to do with the 2 12-6 elbows that were thrown, therefor jones could have been given the win or it imo should have been ruled no contest as has been stated over....
Barc- December 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that saw Hammill working to advance position most of that time. I almost got into throwing hams with one of my buddies because of it. The stoppage was correct. The DQ was correct. I think this is gonna go down as a win for Jones everywhere except his official record. Hammill won't consider it a win. Both guys showed exactly how classy they are by thier reactions. I can't wait to see them both in the cage soon.
steampunk22- December 6, 2009 at 1:09 pm

@goog I agree, I think this was maybe done to show fighters to be more careful. I just hope it doesn't cause Bones Jones to tone down his game too much. He can be flashy, he just needs to be a little more careful at the same time.
831 Son- December 6, 2009 at 1:05 pm
Yea i know. Im not denying that Jones threw illegal elbows, but I know for a fact that those 2 downward elbows weren't the ones that wrecked Hammills face necessarily. Either way, I dont really care. Its a dumb rule, and a justified stoppage by following that dumb rule.
Goog- December 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm
I don't like the no contest call here because it could persuade guys like Tito... or Kimbo [who recently showed he can't handle a loss] to go ahead and throw an illegal shot like that knowing they won't lose. That may sound like a stretch, but I can think of a few guys who'd do it knowing there's no consequence.
steampunk22- December 6, 2009 at 12:55 pm
^^^831 Son

It was a DQ because Hamill could not continue, and the two last strikes before the stoppage were illegal strikes. If Hamill could have continued the fight, it would have resulted in a point loss for Jones and thats it. Its a rare combination to actually cause a DQ but it happens.
Dru23- December 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm
no there actually is no warrant or rule in this situation, so you guys saying its def the right call or def the wrong call or incorrect. because there is no direct rule, hints why even after an appeal anthony "rumble" jones wasnt issued the no contest he desired, because there is no direct rule that states anything because it is directly up to the official. and the up and down elbows did not initiate the cut on the nose, the ones before that did. they eve showed that in the telecast. but in almost every other situation in which something like this has happened it was ruled a no contest not a dq. and i think that would have moreso been a right call in my opinion. because like i said, going from losing a point that still would not have even caused you that round, to losing the fight is downright ridiculous. i dont think jones by any means should have got the win but he shouldnt have got a loss either. it should have been a no contest.
steampunk22- December 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm

While no one will say that Jones wasn't winning/going to win/won that fight, the disqualification was a good call. I think that there may have been a little bit of "example making" going on, especially since Jones likes to throw those shots and this was maybe just the straw that broke the camel's back. He has to learn to be more careful. Whether or not the fight was over before he threw those strikes, he still threw them, and they're still illegal. He didn't NEED to throw those, he could've kept doing what he was doing without resorting to that variety of strike and ended the fight on a clean note. Now its cost him, and its his own fault. Rules is rules.

I'm of the opinion that Hamill was ok before those elbows (assuming we didnt know about his shoulder) and that while the fight was going to end badly for him anyways, and probably pretty quickly, he was defending himself pretty well and Jones got sloppy with the striking. Its too bad because I would've loved to have seen Jones get the victory, but not that way. Its too bad, but fair.
831 Son- December 6, 2009 at 12:51 pm
Okay, since there is a rule stating you cant perform elbow strikes like that, Im not going to bitch too much about the DQ. But there have been HUNDREDS of fighters that use that 12-6 elbow strike and had no DQ's or points taken. Diego did it over 30 times on Guida, Mcsweeney did it a bunch of times last night, and the list goes on, FOREVER. Those elbows werent the ones that did the most damage and the DQ is too much. A point docked off is what should have happened. And there shouldnt have even been a thought of a DQ.

At least we all know that Jon Jones will DESTROY Matt Hammill and most of the 205 division. Who gives a shit about this DQ. NSAC needs to fix that shit though.

Oh and UFC fan, Id kill you if I ever saw your worthless ass. You stupid ass white trash piece of shit. If you came out of your little dungeon and out of your inbred useless state, you would get smashed, son. Worthless faggot. Kill yourself. You are in your late 40's too (WHICH YOU ADMITTED--FAG) and you still act like a incompetent little bitch. I bet the only time you will come out of your hole is in 2012 to vote for Palin or something, seeing how you have the worst logic and ideology. I got a .45 bullet with your name on it, pussy.