MMA referee Steve Mazzagatti took a lot of flak during his (non) performance at the WSOF 3 main event bout between Josh Burkman and Jon Fitch. He had Dana White once again calling for his head after he failed to notice that Fitch had gone out from a guillotine choke. Instead of waiting for the ref to stop the fight Burkman just decided by himself to let go of the submission.
Somewhat unsurprisingly though, NSAC's Keith Kizer then went on the record to defend his actions, saying it's a non-issue. This has drawn criticism from fans and from analysts, including former top UFC contender, Kenny Florian.
Apart from giving his opinion on the finish, Florian even suggested that in the past, he would protest when Mazzagatti was assigned to ref any of his fights. Check out his tweets:
Mazzagatti has been a ref for so long yet still doesn't know the sport & now Kizer is defending him. Unfortunate. He should be reprimanded.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) June 17, 2013
Reality is @danawhite is 100% correct on Mazzagatti. Bad refereeing hurts fighters, fight orgs & can cause irreversible damage to a fighter.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) June 17, 2013
As a fighter you can train for almost anything that can happen in a cage EXCEPT FOR bad refereeing & bad judging.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) June 17, 2013
For those who don't know what Mazzagatti fight I'm referring to, it's Burkman/Fitch fight in WSOF. Burkman both won & reffed the fight.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) June 17, 2013
Anyone on my team knew that if Mazzagatti was going to ref one of my fights, we were to protest immediately & request another ref. #Truth— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) June 17, 2013
For those who missed the said finish, you can watch the final sequence here and see for yourself.