There were no smiley faces or clever one-liners from Dana White after watching Jon Fitch get choked unconscious by Josh Burkman at World Series of Fighting 3.
Instead, the UFC President went after referee Steve Mazzagatti for his questionable officiating in a couple of posts on Twitter.
Fitch came out aggressive on the feet early on in the bout, but Burkman stood his ground and dropped the former UFC contender with a pair of hooks. While scrambling for his senses, Fitch made a desperate attempt at a takedown, but the telegraphed shot played right into the hands of Burkman, who immediately countered with an airtight guillotine choke.
After Fitch went limp, Burkman released the hold and began to celebrate before Mazzagatti even realized the fight was over. The official time of the stoppage was 41 seconds into the first round.
White has gone on record several times in expressing his dissatisfaction with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for allowing Mazzagatti to continue officiating fights. The frustration for White goes all the way back to a 2009 appearance on the Opie & Anthony Show, via MMAFighting.com, where he called Mazzagatti the "worst ref in the history of any fight business."
It's tough to argue with White after watching the Fitch and Burkman bout. Thankfully, Burkman showed tremendous class and great sportsmanship in releasing the hold as soon as Fitch went unconscious.
This was Fitch's first fight since being cut from the UFC back in February. In the rearview, the UFC's decision to part ways with Fitch doesn't look nearly as bad considering he is 1-3-1 in his last five fights, but the initial reaction to the release was shock and disappointment that the promotion would be so eager to sever ties with the perennial welterweight contender.
White swears there are no hard feelings for Fitch, but recently the two sides have remained locked in a bitter public debate over fighter pay.
Unfortunately for Fitch, any hope of a pay raise was likely left plastered on the canvas Friday night.
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