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Steve Mazzagatti lives to referee another day following WSOF 22 controversy

The NAC have decided not to take action against Steve Mazzagatti for his questionable refereeing in the Rousimar Palhares vs. Jake Shields fight at WSOF 22.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

World Series of Fighting 22 on August 1st turned out to be one of the most controversial events of the year. The Diaz brothers were involved in a Royal Rumble style brawl with Khabib Nurmagomedov's camp in the crowd and backstage, and the welterweight title fight between reigning champion Rousimar Palhares and Jake Shields was marred with foul play.

All three participants, Rousimar Palhares, Jake Shields and referee Steve Mazzagatti were criticized for their conduct in the cage during the main event, but it was the Brazilian who received the most backlash.

The submission-ace was warned for repeatedly gouging Shields' eyes and held onto his fight-ending kimura for too long in the third round, which caused his opponent to throw a punch after the bell. Mazzagatti was ridiculed for his lazy officiating.

The long-time referee is arguably one of the most vilified figures in the sport, with former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar even going as far as refusing to step into the Octagon with Mazzagatti refereeing.

The wrestling powerhouse filed a complaint to the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his conduct in the Frank Mir fight at UFC 81, and now the commission have been forced to review Mazzagatti's officiating in the Palhares/Shields fight.

According to NSAC executive director Bob Bennett, Mazzagatti's actions have been examined and they will 'continue to move forward' with the referee. The American was slammed for not deducting points from Palhares or disqualifying 'Toquinho' for eye gouges, and further criticized for not stepping in when Jake Shields tapped to the kimura in the third round.