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The Officiating Was So Bad on ‘TUF 19′ Last Night That It May Have Literally Changed the Sport

(Props: TheUltimateFighter on YouTube)

If you’ve been skipping this season of The Ultimate Fighter: Team Edgar vs. Team Penn, you’re missing out on some elite-level pumpkin carving and cross-dressing. Also, universally-reviled referee Steve Mazzagatti made another controversial decision during last night’s episode, and jeopardized his career in the process.

First, Mazzagatti deducted a point from Roger Zapata for an illegal “12-to-6″ elbow during the “Sudden Victory” round of his fight against Ian Stephens. Though Zapata was warned about throwing 12-to-6 elbows before the point-deduction, the shot that actually led to the penalty was verrrrry questionable. (Skip to 0:54-0:58 in the above video and tell us what you think, then brace yourself for Team Penn assistant coach Mark Coleman roaring gibberish in anger.)

UFC president Dana White stormed out of the gym rather than watch the fight continue. If only it ended there, guys. If only. Here’s what happened next, as described by FightOpinion:

At the end of the third round, two of the judges had scored the round a 9-9 round but one judge scored it a 10-8 round in favor of Stephens. When Mazzagatti announced the winner of the fight, he raised Zapata’s hand and called him “Ian Zapata.” Everyone went crazy. Mazzagatti tried a do-over and said “Roger Zapata” but the UFC editors made sure to leave the mistake in. White blew a gasket and said it was impossible for the judges to give Zapata the win given that he lost a point in the third round. Dana claims that since only one judge declared a winner after the third round that the judges were asked to pick an overall winner (PRIDE-style) and they picked Zapata.”

During his Wednesday appearance on UFC Tonight before the episode aired, Dana White said that the TUF fiasco resulted in some positive changes within the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Though he kept his language vague, keep in mind that Mazzagatti has yet to work a UFC card in 2014, and former NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer resigned at the beginning of this year. To put it another way, people might have lost their jobs over a goddamned episode of TUF. As if we need another reason to put this show out of its misery…

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