The Guide to MMA Officiating by Steve Mazzagatti & Cecil Peoples

Hopefully it goes without saying, but this is a satire piece by a Bloody Elbow community member and does not reflect the actual opinions of Steve Mazzagatti, Cecil Peoples or the Bloody Elbow Staff.

On a personal note, thanks to Zombie Prophet for the gif help, and Ben Thapa for helping make this about 200% funnier than it was before his input.

Hello, I'm Steve Mazzagatti.

You might know me from such fights as Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir, where I demonstrated that fighter safety is my number one concern, and saved my friend Frank from Mr Lesnar's illegal assault.Joe Rogan told me he has lunchboxes for hands, and Randy Couture told me they were canned hams! Either way, foodstuffs are not allowed in my Octagon!

You may also remember me from Kevin Burns vs Anthony Johnson, where I demonstrated that inconsistency is the single most important quality for a referee, by letting Burns poke Johnson directly in the retina so many times his eyeball almost fell out. Fun fact: he poked his eyes so hard he got really, really fat.

I am joined by my esteemed colleague and renowned MMA Judge Cecil Peoples who is here to give insight into how MMA bouts are adjudicated and scored.

You may remember Mr Peoples from fights such as Lyoto Machida vs Shogun Rua, where he bravely informed the world that leg kicks don't finish fights. He would know since he is a double super 8th dan black belt in Kenpo Karate, which he received from Master Cleo McDowell.

You may also remember his stunning feat of athleticism during the Salmon vs Santiago fight where only his ability to literally fly through the air like some sort of beautiful martial arts angel saved Sean Salmon from certain death.

We are going to combine forces like The Voltrons to explain some of the unified rules to you in a way you can understand, so you are better able to appreciate the sport of MMA.


Cecil Peoples here, large and in charge for this section. You can call me Special C, C-Bear or Coco Puff Daddy. I'm here to teach you about Mixed Martial Arts and chew bubble gum, and i'm all out of bubble gum. And I don't know Mixed Martial Arts.

The Mixed Martial Arts takes it's scoring system from The Boxing, and it's called the 10 points must system.

It's called this because you must give 10 points per punch to the face.

Other things give other points.
Kicks to the legs give minus 2 points.
Punches to the air give 4 points, 5 points if it looks like they were thrown really hard.
Takedowns get 200 points,
Submission attempts are apparently a thing in this book? I'm not sure what it means so.... 0 points.

Rounds are scored on a number of different critereea. Crytereah. Crit... things.

I will explain these in detail after the jump.

Effective striking: This means who throws more punches, and who uses their arms more when they punch. The faster you move your arms, the more winning you do.

Effective grappling: This means whoever falls on top of the other guy when they bump into each other. If you're on top, you're winning. Just like sex.

Control of the fighting area: Think of the Octagon like a pit, surrounded by a moat filled with alligators. If you get too far from the middle, alligators will eat your face. I'm that alligator, but I eat points instead of faces.

Effective aggressiveness: This is who makes the scariest faces. If you have a really scary rage face it can easily win you a fight. Leonard Garcia has the best war face.

Defense: This refers to whoever makes better use of the cage, or "de fense". You get points for grabbing de fense more times than your opponent, and for pushing your opponent into de fense more often.

At the end of each round you should carefully look at the names of the fighters on the card, then you rank each fighter based on how many times you have heard their name. If you have heard it lots of times before, you give them a 10, for doing a good job of that. If you have heard it less times you put a 9, to encourage them to try harder next time.


Steve Mazzagatti back for this section. Sometimes referees make unpopular calls, and sometimes referees even make mistakes. It happens, just not to me.

There are only a few moves illegal in MMA, and they are the following:

Using ground and pound on Frank Mir.
Punching the side of the head.
Using elbows to hit people.

All other moves are legal, and I enforce them as such.

The best way to enforce any rule, from a foul to ending a fight, is to use Cecil Peoples patented "Superman-lifesaver" maneuver, which he demonstrates for us here:


By making yourself as large as possible you scare the fighter, and he is likely to move away from his victim. Additionally, fighters are unnaturally scared of flying people and this is something you should use to your advantage. This also allows you to demonstrate to the fighter that you are the superior athlete, and overawe him into bending to your will.

A great referee should be prepared for any situation. In one of my fights between Matt Hamill and Jon Jones, Mr Jones landed an illegal blow to Mr Hamill. Knowing Mr Hamill is deaf, I stood over him to make sure blood ran into his eyes so he couldn't see me, then I spoke loudly and slowly at him to humiliate him. Once I was comfortable he knew I was the man, I let him win the fight. He is deaf after all, I'm not a dick.

If a fighter does something really cool, like land a nut shot on his opponent, you are allowed to stop the fight and hold his hand. Once you have his big, manly hand in yours, you should walk around the octagon with your finger in the air. This lets everyone in the crowd know that you are claiming dibs on this fighter.


Before a fight begins the referee has several responsibilities and perks. Each referee is allowed to rub at least one fighter each night, and touch their genitals. Most fighters unfortunately wear a cup, I checked and they are allowed to do that in the rules though.

A referee is also responsible for ensuring that fighters have hands and feet, and that they brushed their teeth. This is why we make fighters smile at us before they go into the cage.

In the Cage

Once in the cage the referee's job is to come up with a catchphrase before the fight begins. This can range from "Lets get it on, come on!" Which John McCarthy uses, to one of the many catchphrases I have tried over the years, such as "It's waffle time!", "Who ordered the whupass fajitas?" "Ding dong motherfucker... ding dong!" and my personal favourite "Let's fizzy up in this hizzy". Please don't steal that as I am currently trademarking the phrase.

Ideally the referee should make sure he interrupts fights as often as possible while on TV, so people get to see him more. It is important for a referee to remember to market himself at all times. The best time to do this is when two fighters are on the ground, and one is doing something strange, like putting someones head between their legs, or trying to hump their arm.

For some reasons, perhaps the pressure of the occasion, or the lights, when some fighters fall to the ground they immediately start moving around, hugging their opponent, trying to grab their arms or legs or cuddle their neck. The best thing to do for all involved is to separate the fighters and put them back on their feet when this happens. The best part is when you stand them up you're allowed to touch both fighter's chests for a few seconds while you stand between them. Brian Ebersole has my favorite chest ever. He feels like a big sexy teddy bear.

Becoming an Official

It's C-Bizzle here again, with advice on how you too can become a judge for The Mixed Martial Arts.

There are several important qualities you need to become a judge in mixed martial arts.

Firstly, you need to know someone who works for the state athletic commission.

Then you need to ensure you keep fight results sufficiently random. This is very important

Finally you need to show you are capable of entertaining yourself during fights, I like to look at boobies, or play on my iphone, but the important thing is you are always able to sit at the desk for the WHOLE FIGHT.

If you need to go to the bathroom, you should wait until Mike Goldberg goes, and follow him in. He has impeccable timing and you can see his peep if you're quick. It's quite nice.

We hope that you have found this guide useful and enlightening and that it helps to bring the next generation of referee's and judges to the great sport of UFCing.

From me, The Peoples Cecil and my colleague Steve 'Maserati' Gatti, follow you dreams and you too can one day earn thousands of dollars in bribes.

It's Waffle Time.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.