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Mazzagatti to Anthony Johnson: “Oops, My Bad”

(Steve Mazzagatti hangin’ ringside with Anthony “Two Face” Johnson.)

According to, EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” show was the site of a very touching reconciliation, as Anthony “Rumble” Johnson buried the hatchet with the man responsible for turning what should have been a DQ victory at “UFC: Silva vs. Irvin” into a TKO loss. As the story goes:

…Johnson approached Mazzagatti at ringside during last night’s event. Mazzagatti and Johnson shook hands and hugged. Mazzagatti apologized to Johnson and noted that it was “a bad call” and Johnson immediately accepted, saying it was all good.

If you’ll recall, Kevin Burns repeatedly poked Johnson in the eye during their match, leading to a serious retinal injury that would later require surgery; Mazzagatti awarded Burns the win when Johnson couldn’t continue. Rumble’s surgery was pretty grisly, apparently, though it was ultimately a success. As he told MMA Weekly:

“My retina was damaged, possibly detached, and the laceration was pretty long. It was basically from one end of my eye to the other. They did laser surgery that took about two hours, put some stitches on it basically. The doctor said I should be back in the September. So, hopefully you’ll get to see me do my thing in September or October…

I have nothing against Kevin; but personally I don’t want him to fight again until he gets his hands fixed. I don’t want any other fighter to go through what I went through. I don’t think it’s cool that he fought with his hands like that. It put himself and others that he’s competing with in danger. Just look at me. I can accept a loss, but I can’t accept a loss or the consequence of someone else’s wrong doing in a fight like that.”

We’ll let you know when Shayna Baszler forgives Steve for making Cristiane Cyborg knock her out twice.

Cagepotato Comments

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Steve- July 28, 2008 at 8:31 pm
Mazzagatti is terrible. I can't believe he still gets fights.

People are saying he had a bad angle to see the poke... well, isn't that his fault? Shouldn't he have been on the lookout for that, considering it had already happened a few times before? And why not just take a look at the guy's eye before calling it a KO and not a DQ? The way the guy fell made it so obvious that it was an eye poke and not a normal thing. He was winning the fight, so he had no reason to fake an injury or anything. What an idiot Maz is.

Very classy behavior by Anthony Johnson, though. Not many people would've handled it so well.
Piffzilla- July 28, 2008 at 11:42 am
Fuck steve Mazashithead. He let Shayna get KO'd twice and let Houstan Alexsander get hit only twice. He's a real shit head... How come he could'nt listen to the crowd booing then look up @ the jumbo screen and see it was the 5th "inadvertent" poke to the eye and DQ him.To think Kevin went home with the winners purse.If he was a real man he'd send Johnson the check!
flapout- July 28, 2008 at 6:24 am
Funny how 2 years ago it was Herb Dean that everyone wanted to fry, now it's Maz. Every ref has hosed up calls and/or fights.

Did Maz let Shayna get pounded more than he could have? Probably, but Shayna wasn't telling him to call it when he was telling Christian (obviously a man so I dropped the "a") to quit humping the top of the cage.

For the person calling a palm strike a bitch slap...saunter up to Bas Rutten & tell him that, it's one of his favorite strikes. Should the guy get his hand fixed? Oh yeah, if he has any respect for the guys he fights, fix it.

Back to crappy refs, anyone else notice that Miragliotta hasn't been seen reffing for any major fight organizations since he jacked up 2 high profile fights on consecutive weekends? At least the biggest screwup Rosenthal has made lately is staring right at a guy obviously holding the ropes during the Affliction and not even have it register inside his head.
cabj1905- July 28, 2008 at 1:35 am
"Oops my bad"????? fuck that, Maz, you better buy this kid a Rolex or something. How can you warn this kid 2-3 times about the open palm and not DQ him after that?
After this and the terrible call in Baszler vs. Cyborg where poor Baszler had to get KO'd twice, Maz joined the "black list" of crappy referees (along with Miragliotta and Herb Dean). These silly little mistakes by refs are getting on my nerves. It's giving MMA a bad reputation.... especially amongst the espn fags.
Dr.- July 27, 2008 at 9:38 pm
Kevin Burns is still a piece of shit. And still at fault for this crap. How many times did he "inadvertently" poke Johnson in the eye prior to the big one? I remember at least 2 or 3. He was even warned. Maybe employ a different strategy. Like striking with the PALM and not leading with the fingers ASS.
emil- July 27, 2008 at 9:33 pm
When did we ever see Big John fuck up as a ref?
I once saw him stop a fight in UFC japan or whatever it was, when the guy were just going for the other guys legs (although it looked like he was knocked out) but then they finished the fight later that night instead so it all worked out.

But seriously, I felt so confortable with John McCarthy in the octagon cause you know there's not gonna be any mistakes done on his part. Wish I could say the same for Steve, Herb, Yves and Mario...
Ass- July 27, 2008 at 9:17 pm
Seriously, yeah, he has fucked up some fights, but I don;t think he can be blamed for this one. He called it like he saw it, and if anything, this is just fucked up how you can;t change somthing so blatantly wrong by replay.
TPark- July 27, 2008 at 8:27 pm
LOL. Cut maz some slack? How many fights has he fcked up. Mostly every controversial fight has him included in it and that isnt a coincidence. We'll cut him some slack when he actually starts doing his job.
qas-- July 27, 2008 at 8:15 pm
In Mazzagatti's defense, from his angle the eye poke was impossible to see, and even in real time with an unobstructed view of the strike it was difficult to see. He saw a punch that happened to be an eyepoke shielded by Johnson's head followed by him going down right after Burns' threw an uppercut that again looked like it landed. Again, cut Maz some slack, and Johnson is handling the whole situation as well as possible; pure class. I do hope the decision can be changed.
Earl- July 27, 2008 at 8:03 pm
I have alot of respect for Johnson as a fighter and a person. Really cool on his part. As impossible as it may seem to get a decision overturned, I hope it goes his way. That was hard to watch all the way around.
Mr. B- July 27, 2008 at 6:50 pm
In total agreement with you C-Bus Allstar.
Plain old Kevin- July 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm
A palm strike with fingers straight and spread is not really a palm strike anyway... it's more like a bitch slap. I hope they both get better because I would like to see that again in the future.
C-Bus Allstar- July 27, 2008 at 6:37 pm
I think that Anthony Johnson is handling this situation with as much class as anyone possibly could. He's making his grievance known, without taking anything away from the other fighter. And to be honest, he's got a very valid point, unless Kevin Burns can close that left and throw it as a punch, he either A: Shouldn't throw the left at all, or B: Should be forced to get surgery to correct it.
FAS- July 27, 2008 at 6:33 pm
Really hope Rumble gets that decision overturned...I know his agent is trying to make that happen.

Mazzagatti is a joke. The end of Shayna/Cyborg was hard to watch. Baszler was DONE, and Steve M. was like "get back here and finish her!" It was like some Mortal Kombat shit...I thought Cyborg was going to pull off a Fatality.
Mr. B- July 27, 2008 at 6:33 pm
Johnson is a "class act"!