Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Tag: MMA referees

Power-Ranking the Four Latest Stoppages of UFC 184

(Mark, are you giving up?! I need a sign Mark! Literally *any* sign! No? Well, fight on then!” via Getty.)

By CP Reader Steve Hand

It’s hard to believe that a night which saw five fighters finished inside of three minutes could feature so many late stoppages, but such is the incompetency of the modern MMA referee (second only to that of, you guessed it, Frank Stallone the MMA judge). Without using too much hyperbole, I feel comfortable saying that UFC 184 was the biggest reffing travesty since the 2007 NBA Betting Scandal, and maybe of all time. And with that, let’s take a look at just how bad the ball was dropped over the course of the night.


Free At Last: Josh Rosenthal to Be Released From Prison After 19-Month Stint [UPDATED]

(Photo via MMANuts.)

By CP Reader Bryan Adelman

Ah, Josh, we missed you.

Veteran MMA referee Josh Rosenthal is set for release this March after spending 19 months in federal prison, according to

As you may recall, Rosenthal was sentenced to 37 months back in July 2013 after federal agents seized, get this, over 1,000 marijuana plants valued at around $6 million, a year earlier at an Oakland, California warehouse owned by Rosenthal.

More on this story after the jump.


15 More GIFs of Referees Being Awesome and/or Terrible

Our friends at WorldWideInterweb have just published an incredible photo/GIF list on the 50 Funniest Moments in Referee History, and we feel obligated to share some of the LOL’s with the Potato Nation. Unlike our previous GIF roundup that focused on MMA referees being awesome/terrible, today’s gallery includes some great moments from pro-wrestling, kickboxing, and more respectable sports like basketball and hockey. Check ‘em out after the jump…


Kim Winslow’s Worst Referee Moments: A Video Megamix

(Props: TheMontageKing)

What can you say about MMA referee Kim Winslow? Is she legitimately the worst, or does Cecil Peoples still rank below her? Watch all of Kim’s late stoppages, early stoppages, questionable stand-ups, and other assorted failures in this lowlight reel, and tell us what you think.


GIF of the Day: Quite Possibly the Most Horrific Stoppage in the History of Officiated Fighting

(Props: @GrabakaHitman via r/MMA)

Words cannot even begin to describe how abhorrent and borderline criminal referee Wiekus Swart’s performance was at yesterday’s EFC Africa 28 event. To quote Gene Wilder, Wiekus Smart is a “stupid, ignorant son of a bitch, dumb bastard” who should have his license revoked and be barred from attending an MMA event, watching an MMA event, or even listening to an MMA-themed podcast until he is shed of this mortal coil.

Let’s take a step back. About three weeks back, specifically, when EFC Africa fighter Booto Guylain died as a result of head injuries he suffered during a TKO loss to Keron Davies. It was a devastating moment for the tightly-knit EFC community, and one that EFC Africa President Cairo Howarth dubbed “a huge loss to the sport and to all who know him.”

It was also a tragedy placed at the forefront of EFC 28 yesterday, with all of the evening’s competitors donning a black armband to honor Guylain in a touching, if frightening reminder of how dangerous a sport MMA can be. Yet at this very same event, referee Swart allowed this catastrophe of common sense and human judgement to take place during a fight between Christophe Walravens and Bernado Mikixi.

How many illegal shots to the back of the head did you count after Walravens dropped Mikixi? 10? 12? How many seconds did you count between Walravens pleading with Swart to end the fight and Swart’s intervention?

I’ve never said that the job of an MMA referee was an easy one, nor have I ever claimed that I could do it better than those who do. But this is unforgivable. Allowing this man to continue refereeing MMA fights would be akin to allowing Denzel Washington’s character in Flight to continue flying planes.

In an era of MMA where referees are still only being held accountable for their actions on message boards and blogs, a precedence needs to be set that the job of protecting two trained fighters from killing one another is not one to be taken lightly, nor is it one that should be granted to any asshole with $600 and 3 days of spare time. An example needs to be made. Wiekus Swart is that example.

-J. Jones


[VIDEO] This “Worst Stoppages in MMA” Supercut Portrays the *Real* Agony of Being an MMA Fan (or Fighter)

Much like that of a police officer, an intern, or a mid-level MMA blogger, the job of an MMA referee is an oft thankless one, rife with controversy and Internet comments from anonymous people claiming that they could do it better than you (that last part may be a bit specific). But after watching this supercut of “The Worst Stoppages in MMA” compiled by TapNapSnap, you might begin to understand why most fight fans hold MMA referees second only to MMA judges on the list of incompetent fuck-ups who are ruining the sport. Truly a life of never-ending agony and disappointment, that of the MMA fan.

Whether it’s horrifyingly late stoppages like Marius Zaromskis vs. Andrey Koreshkov, “virgin on prom night”-premature stoppages like Aaron Riley vs. Shane Nelson 1, or just plain bizarre stoppages and stand-ups that have occurred over the years in Bellator, Strikeforce, and the UFC (among several smaller promotions), this video is sure to remove any traces of empathy you had left for MMA referees, and in fact, it might send you into a blind rage that ends with the mass killing of anyone wearing a vertically striped shirt. We will not be held liable, in any case.

So take a few deep breaths and check out the 30-minute supercut above, then watch this gif of Daniel Gallemore vs. Fredrick Brown from Bellator 113 and completely lose your sh*t again. Fair warning.

-J. Jones


The ‘UFC Fight Night 38′ Danavlog Further Highlights MMA’s Need to Embrace the Instant Replay

The recently-released ‘Fight Night 38′ Danavlog, which contains behind the scenes footage from both UFC 169 and 170, has all the makings of a classic Danavlog: nasty cuts and bruises, fighters breaking down backstage, and Matt Serra ripping on Ray Longo for the black eye that Kevin “mixed martial farts” James gave him. Toss in some classic Ronda Rousey mean-mugging, and you’ve got yourself a D-vlog (as the kids are calling them) right up there with “The gang finds a guy asleep behind the wheel.”

But about six and a half minutes into the video (6:24 to be precise), there’s a moment that displays something more than the usual mix of heartbreak and hilarity found in Danavlogs and actually warrants further investigation.

Referees Mario Yamasaki and Yves Lavigne are giving Daniel Cormier and Demian Maia, respectively, a few last-minute reminders about the rules, likely in an effort to avoid a Sims vs. Mir-level mishap. While Yamasaki simply reiterates to Cormier that covering up does not count as intelligent defense (seems like he should’ve saved that speech for Pat Cummins, amiright? *self-fives*), Lavigne informs Maia that even if his upcoming opponent, Rory MacDonald, were to tap, Maia should continue applying the submission until Lavigne pulls him off.

“I have to see the tap,” says Lavigne, “If I don’t see it and you let it go, and if he says ‘I didn’t tap,’ we’re screwed.”

Now, this should be concerning for a multitude of reasons…


Exclusive Interview: Inside the Mind of MMA Referee Mario Yamasaki

(Not only does Yamasaki officiate MMA bouts, he also resurrects blunt force trauma victims. Photo Credit: Esther Lin)

By Jason Moles

In a world of barbarous blitzkriegs and surreptitious submissions, seasoned referee Mario Yamasaki is the epitome of thinking on your feet. Having reffed over 400 fights in the UFC, Strikeforce, WEC, EliteXC and Pride Fighting Championships, Yamasaki has been in the cage with the best fighters the world has to offer – and tried to keep them safe in the controlled carnage that is professional cage fighting. CagePotato caught up with Yamasaki earlier this week and we asked him about everything from controversial stoppages to being accosted by Joe Rogan. Here’s what one of MMA’s best referees had to say.

CagePotato: How long have you been an MMA referee?

Mario Yamasaki: I started around 1992 at local shows in Brazil.

CP: What first captivated you about MMA and is that what lead you to your current profession?

MY: I started doing Judo back in 1968, so the mat was my home. My father had 14 studios in São Paulo and when I was either 19 or 20 years old I thought that I was a great fighter because I use to train with the Brazilian National team in Judo and could kick a lot of people’s butt. When I met Marcelo Behring I got controlled on the ground like I never had before, so I was intrigued with that situation and instead of walking away I said, “Let me learn that so I can become even better than I am.”

From the beginning, I had an advantage against other students because of my background in Judo so I became one of the best students he had. So was my brother, so we started helping him in his private classes so we could learn more and faster. As far as the refereeing part, my father & uncle went to 5 Olympic games as referees and I learned from them.


[EXCLUSIVE] Cole Miller Reflects on Strange Fight With Manny Gamburyan at ‘Fight Night 26′

(Photo via Getty Images.)

By Elias Cepeda

Cole Miller was confused. Near the end of the first round of his UFC Fight Night 26 featherweight fight against Manny Gamburyan this past Saturday, “The Anvil” was working for a double leg takedown against the cage on Miller when Cole defended and hit him with two elbows before the horn.

The elbows were ruled legal and they hurt Gamburyan. Bad.

So much so that the former title challenger slumped down to his knees in an apparent daze and could not immediately stand up and walk to his own corner. In fact, he was on his knees in Miller’s corner.

“I didn’t really get it,” Cole told CagePotato on Sunday. “I looked at [referee ] Yves Lavigne, he was looking at Manny. I was unsure if the fight was over or if time had expired. I was looking for the ref to give us an idea of whether there was finality in the fight, or if it was an illegal blow. Later, Yves told me was a legal blow and so does the video. But at the time, if it was illegal I was looking for him to say so, take a point, give me a warning, call the fight or something. It was a confusing situation. Yves told me to go to my corner but I told him, ‘I am in my corner.’ The way Manny was there on the ground in my corner, I couldn’t raise my hands, walk away and go to my corner or anything. They actually moved me and my corner to another area while he stayed there on the ground. Yves was pointing to a direction for me to go. I was thinking, ‘I’m in my corner. Someone needs to take him to his corner.’ Over a minute and twenty passed before they had the doctor even look at him.”

The break between rounds for fighters is a minute long. If a fighter cannot answer the start of the next round, they lose, normally. Examples of this have been seen throughout MMA, kickboxing and boxing history.

If you’re so beat up that you can’t answer the next round’s bell, you’re done. You’ve lost.


12 Weird Facts About Point-Deductions in the UFC [MMA STATS]

The tireless researchers at have just released a chart detailing every referee point-deduction in UFC history, for fights that went to decision. It’s a surprisingly short list, but it reveals some very interesting facts. We’ve screen-capped the chart above; click it to enlarge, and visit the “History of Point Deductions” page on MMADecisions to learn more about each individual fight.

Now, what does this chart tell us? Well…

1. In over 11 years of UFC events since 2001, only 22 points have been deducted during fights that went to the judges.

2. None of those point-deductions happened in 2003-2005, for some reason.

3. Herb Dean is the leading point-docker on the list with five points total. John McCarthy, Mario Yamasaki, and Steve Mazzagatti all trail him with four apiece.

4. Kicks to the groin lead the list of most-frequently penalized infractions (five deducted points total), with illegal upkicks to a downed opponent coming in second place (four deducted points). Eye pokes show up only once on the list. Still no love for the balls of the face.