Q&A With MMA Ref Steve Mazzagatti

D WizzleSenior Analyst IAugust 4, 2008

D Wizzle talked to MMA referee, Steve Mazzagatti, to get his take on the Anthony "Rumble" Johnson/Kevin Burns fight that took place on July 19 as part of UFC Fight Night 14.  Mazzagatti was the referee for that particular fight and awarded a victory to Burns via TKO when Johnson fell down and turned his back to Burns in the third round.

Johnson was on his way to a victory but  got poked severely in his right eye which caused him to scream in pain. Johnson had to have surgery on his right eye due to the damage from Burns' eye poke.

The agent for Johnson, Ken Pavia, is appealing the decision, and hopefully the fight will be changed to a No Contest.

Pictures of Johnson after his eye surgery can be seen here -

Q&A With Steve Mazzagatti

I know you have been getting criticized of late due to the controversial decision in the Johnson/Burns fight. Can you tell me what you saw in the third round when Johnson fell to the ground and turned his back screaming?

I did not see the eye poke as I was on the other side of the action. After he got hit, it looked like he went down from a punch,  so I called it the way I saw it. Remember,  we only have one or two seconds  to make a call, and without any  form of replay. I agree...it was a bullshit call but that's what I saw.

Do you think there should be instant replay in MMA?

It would be nice, but it could also be a problem. How far would it go? The place for the replay would be in the protest phase with the commission.

For more from Mazzagatti, click here Q&A With Steve Mazzagatti