MMA News

Saturday, 07/28/2012, 06:00 am

Steve Mazzagatti: ‘I Don’t Work For Dana’ | UFC NEWS

“[White] has criticized us and we get a lot of criticism for not standing them up – at least I do,” Mazzagatti said in a telephone interview. “They say we let fighters lay on the ground too long and we’re not doing anything. We don’t make the rules. We enforce them. It’s not our job to make sure the fight goes the way the promoter wants it to go. It’s the fighter’s job. It’s their show.

“They’ve got to be the entertainer. I don’t make the fight what everyone expects it to be. All we do is enforce the rules – period — and make sure it’s a clean and fair fight.”

I don’t make the rules. If you want to make a 15-second standup rule, then come up with a 15-second standup rule and I will stand them up in 15 seconds,” Mazzagatti said. “I can only go with what’s given to me. I don’t judge fighters by who they are and what they’re known for.

“You gotta understand, I don’t work for Dana and we [referees] don’t work for Dana,” Mazzagatti said. “I feel I’m a public servant for the fans and the fighters. I want to make sure the fighters have a good, clean, fair fight that they trained for and expect.”

In a recent interview with, licensed Mixed Martial Arts referee, Steve Mazzagatti responds to the recent criticism MMA officials have been receiving from UFC president Dana White.



49 Responses to “Steve Mazzagatti: ‘I Don’t Work For Dana’ | UFC NEWS”

  1. isaiah D says:

    I dont have a problem with Steve. I have and we all will continue to have single issues with certain fights. But that is in the nature of the sport.

    • Mike B says:

      I agree every ref has made bad calls in there careers nobody’s perfect….well herb dean’s close to perfect Lol.i own about 90 UFC DVDs and I love it when Steve stops fights he jumps right on top of the guy who’s getting his face pounded in he just fucking dives right in there that shit is funny.

  2. stephen riddle says:

    Its one big cluster! One person says to stand em, one person will be like why did he stand them cause hes a sub. Specialist so what the hell?!?

  3. Drew says:

    I have a problem with Steve he is one of the worst refs in the game for him to say oh there’s rules and we enforce is true but a crock of shit at the same time there are refs that have never had one complaint herb deen issues the rules but makes sure the fight has action

    • 757 says:

      You are a bullshitter !! If DW said Steve was great you would say he was great also. You aren’t a ref so shut up and watch the fights you tool. If you want to lay anything on the refs then pony up and become yourself. If not shut and watch the fights. Quit sucking DW’S balls. He is the biggest bullshitter going and stabs people in the back all the time. Nobody cares what the fans really think, they just care that you pay. If people all of a sudden starting loving the wrestling portion of MMA more than anything else then DW would be right in there. If you don’t agree with what is going on then stop watching it…..Dick

    • Mayor of Deviance says:

      Herb Dean absolutely has had complaints. When Hendo fought Fedor there were a ton of pissed off Fedor fans cursing Herb Dean as a ref for calling that. ex: “damn you herb dean!” I have on tape. I’m not saying they were right or they weren’t obnoxious (they were) but there have been complaints besides that too. Herb Dean isn’t flawless.

      I think most refs know they don’t have to adhere to peoples’ expectations, but I could care less so long as I get to hear “bringitonCmown!!”

  4. MMA FAN says:

    i would suck his stash right off his face and jiggle his balls till he said lets get it on again

  5. Richie L says:

    Last time I checked UFC was an orginization for MMA fighters. It’s not boxing, it’s not kickboxing and it’s not just a place for wrestlers. Each fighter comes to the cage with a strategy and to not get caught by their opponents specialty. Fighters do what they have to do to WIN, a fight. Yeah maybe sometimes they do lay on the mat too long but there are also times when they’re just circling around the ring playing tag. I think Steve M is a great ref and think he’s doing a great job.

  6. Xaninho says:

    Inactivity is seperation and start the fight over. Inactivity on the ground (LnP) is standing them up and start the fight over. It’s not that hard Mazagatti!

    What you think would happen if boxing referee’s wouldn’t seperate the fighters when they’re clinching and just hanging on?

    This is just why DW made that comment, instead of listening and learning something fomr it he’s only being defensive about it.

    Mazagatti you SUCK!

  7. drew says:

    again, steve is one of the highest paid refs who are talentless…his job is extremely easy and he sucks at it…easy meaning its not hard to figure out if a guy or woman is out…what else…dont let lay and prey happen….hmmm what else when people clinch for days on end seperate them…i really dont get it being a ref in mma is easy, and being a ref in boxing is easier…reffing=one of the biggest jokes of a real time job compared to all of society…u stand in a ring with two fighters…and make sure u dont get in the way or illegal blows or holding the cage…OMG ITS SO HARD TO SEE SOMEONE HOLDING A CAGE GIVE HIM A HIGH FIVE!!! shitty lazy people who get paid double then most people and people sit here defending a garbage ref

    • Not You says:

      Then you be a ref if it’s soooooo easy.

    • 757 says:

      Your an asshole … don’t even make sense. Richie L nailed it. Steve M is a ref and is attempting to do a job. DW is a salesman. He could care less about the fighters and them doing what they need to do. He just wants excitement and the damm the fighters if they don’t provide that. Steve M does a good job. No wonder Big John left for a while. He got the shits of DW and his selfish bullshit. Dicks like you need to wise up and realize what your looking at…A BUSINESS WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO RUN IT COULD CARE LESS ABOUT ANYTHING BUT THE MONEY!! So when you have a ref who tries to abide by the rules and not what is going to make it exciting no matter what the cost the DW bangs him . F him and FU too!!

    • Mike B says:

      Sorry bro but one of the stupidest comments I have ever read.

      • 757 says:

        Nice comment next time form an opinion before you call someone else stupid ……..dork

        • Mike B says:

          Dude go fuck ur self u faggot.u are truly a moron Lol….it’s okay for u to insult people cause u said ur u really are slow u punk ass Internet tough boy,what a fag.if I don’t like ur comment that’s it…. I don’t have to write a fucking essay about how much of an asshole they are and blah blah blah….get a fucking life bitch boy I mean it’s a mma forum bro relax it ain’t that serious u loser..ha ha ha.ROTFL……

        • 757 says:

          Ha ha you little pussy. It’s a forum your right so you can say what you want and act as tough as you want…in your case you can act like you know something. Just from the way you talk it’s obvious that you never competed in anything very difficult ….go play a video game or something you know about .

        • Sean price says:

          This guy is right man why do u fly off the handle on everybody.oh I know cause u state ur opinion so it’s okay.why all the anger u tard everything will be ok…..mind you,that reply u posted on the form an opinion before u disrespect bullshit…WHAT?????dumb ass!Lol.

        • 757 says:

          Must be your girlfriend. You little pussies

  8. Notacouchfighter says:

    Fighters should just finish more fights. You finish a guy, you win! Don’t blame a guy protecting you… Period

  9. GoFinishPlease says:

    The whole Athletic commission thing is bullshit. They aren’t educated in MMA and shouldn’t be a governing body for the sport

  10. steeler says:

    i dont like standups unless its just extremely bad lnp which honestly isnt that common i think its the fighters job to get up but takedowns should count less so lnp wouldnt be the most guarenteed option to win

  11. the original steve says:

    honestly im a little tired of the hate on the refs. josh rosenthal did nothing wrong with munoz. munoz was fine he gave him a chance. he stopped it after the elbow i bet munoz wouldve got up quick and all the fans would’ve been bitching. of course they all make mistake. you can’t come down that hard on them for a mistake though they have to make a decision there. there is an EXTREMELY fine line between giving a fighter a chance and they have taken enough damage. of course sometimes they make some huge mistakes only mazagatti and lavigne made those mistakes.

    • 757 says:

      ^ I agree with you. The refs try to do a good job. The fighters try to do good at their job to. F Dana White he is so full of shit he could care less who gets punched in the face to much or not he just wants to make money. Does anyone remember Evan Tanner. He was an exciting fighter who brought it everytime. When he died Dana White didn’t even mention it. He doesn’t give a shit who get’s to much punishment or not…..oh unless it’s asshole Bisping who got knocked the fuck out by Henderson and he cried that Hendo hit him when he was down. QUIT BANGING THE REFS AND START ON DW HE IS THE PROBLEM.

    • bigd says:

      i counted 10 clean headshots to munoz’ head after he was dropped by that bow, disgusting stoppage.

  12. Nick says:

    He’s not Herb Dean, that’s for sure. He’s probably at the bottom of that list of refs. He’s not the worst though. Kim Winslow is by far the worst ref ever. Good thing he doesn’t work for Dana, because he’d be fired for sure.

  13. Andy says:

    LOL Dana White hates this guy. I don’t see why Mazzagati keeps saying DW’s criticizing referees on a whole, as its just him most of the time he talks about. Personally I don’t really mind. Herb and Dan make the best calls IMO.

  14. jay dee says:

    Funny guy. I like him for that regardless look he has during fights

  15. Mark says:

    I agree with Steve, it’s up to the fighters to put on an exciting fight. Kongo should be the one taking shit.

  16. Gaylord Focker says:

    steve is good. Dana is my bitch, and you are all my hoe.

  17. Byron Rashed says:

    He’s right, they just enforce the rules and are NOT responsible for the way a fight goes. They use their judgement to stand the fighters up, etc. if there is limited action. All referees are criticized, they are not robots, there is human error in this type of job. The main responsibility is to ensure the rules are being followed and the safety of the fighters, period!

  18. Steve “watch the back of the head” Mazzagatti is one of the worst in the business.

  19. jason says:

    I agree with steve on the issue of standing up fights…I feel this is mma and grapppeling is part of the sport and if they want to make a rule to make the fights more exciting institute a 15 second stand up rule….however I think mazzagatti is one of the worst referees in the game. He constantly makes poor calls. Constant early stoppages. Calls subs before the guy taps or anything breaks. And is also responsible for the worst call in mma history resulting in the one ridiculus blemish on jon jones record thanks to mazzagatti being the one and only guy to ever use instant replay for a crock of shit call.

  20. Akimbo says:

    IMO, DW should keep his mouth closed about how the refs are handling a fight. On top of that, FANS watching should also know what to expect from a MMA fight.

    A bjj guy has his advantage on the ground, also ground and pound specialists. If a ref were to separate one of those two while they were looking for an advantage on the ground, he’d be interfering with the fight, which is something I would not want to have paid to see.

    As a fan, if all you want to see is stand up and striking, I’d take to sticking to watching boxing and/or K-1 type deals. Let the MMA fans who know how to watch an MMA fight, not because of hype, have their show…and their refs. Keep up the good work Mazzagati

    • Travis Cavalli says:

      It’s not fucking kickboxing, if you can’t get out from under some guy, that’s your shit, the ref shouldn’t stand a fight because it’s on the ground, bunch of keyboard idiots. If you want kickboxing watch K-1 freaking handicaped ass informed fans.

  21. Don Gwinn says:

    Mazzagatti is exactly right here. It’s ridiculous to bitch about the referee not enforcing a rule you didn’t give him to enforce. Coming from the fans, it’s somewhat understandable, though misplaced. If you’re a fan and you want more standing action (and an “I Don’t Understand How MMA Works” t-shirt, free of charge) then write to Dana and Lorenzo and all the other high-flying UFC guys I don’t actually know on a first-name basis. Tell them what you want them to do with the sport, and if enough people agree with you, they’ll probably do at least some of it.

    But coming from those rulemakers, this is absolutely ridiculous. This is like a legislator who voted to raise the speed limit to 75 mph making speeches about those damn cops letting people whizz by at 75 mph.

    And if we’re registering our personal votes, I say forget the standups. I know that puts me in the minority, but if you’re being held down, and you’d rather have the fight standing, then I’m sorry but you ARE losing. Your opponent is imposing his will, and you are not. If you aren’t able to get out of that situation, then I guess he’s better at holding people down than you are at escaping, yes? And if you ARE able to get out, then I want to see how you do it! The whole point of paying to watch an MMA match is to watch people struggle and see what they do and how they do it. In that sense, forcing a scramble or getting to your feet are no different than a good punch or a heel hook. I don’t want the referee to force your opponent into a heel hook, I want to see how you, the fighter, set it up and execute it.

  22. George says:

    If you don`t like the submission part of UFC go watch boxing…

  23. AJ says:

    1.) If you are a contracted ref for the UFC, you are contracted to the company in which Dana White is the president. Meaning, you do in fact work for the UFC.

    2.) Enforcing the rules would mean that fights need to be stood up when two fighters are on the ground and neither is making progress in advancing position or causing damage. This rule gets ignored by Steve all the time, which is why Dana is so critical of him. I love the grappling aspect of MMA, and find it more interesting/entertaining from a martial arts standpoint than s brawl. That being said, I have been really disappointed in numerous fights, where Steve allowed fighters to simply hold position on the mat rather than making them work or get up.

    • Erm No says:


      Your first point is silly – he still works for the company/orgnaisation he is under – even if you could say he is ‘subcontracted to the UFC’ – he is proevidng a referring service for certain fights on a UFSD – he is a vendor, not part of the UFC, not an employee of the UFC – he is a 3rd party working at a UFC event – its like saying all dj’s and stalls WORK FOR a promoter of a festival – just silly. It may appear indirectly he is workign FOR the UFC but hes not – Hes wotking ON the UFC account not FOR the UFC comapny – get it?

      Stand up on non busy ground fighting is subjecive and changes from different peoples opinons includign refs – fighters need to stay busy f they want to stay ion the grund – some are good at doing just enough to stay there – others don’t and get stood up – its up to the fighters or introudce a hard written time limit.

      Thats it.

  24. Erm No says:

    Think he is right – Dana gets p1ssed as wants fighters to go all out and be entertaining.. Some bralwers do this, so more experienced grinders play it safe.

    ref should and can only follow the rules and protect the fighters – they all fk up from time to time. Its just more visible in their profession.

    the fighters don;t get bashed, for just missing that submissions opportunity – that was a bad escape !l olol

  25. Jeff Mackens says:

    Being a licensed referee myself, Steve is absolutely right, BUT the promoter chooses the referees. The ref’s work for what ever state is sanctioning the fight. Again he is right, if they want a 15 second rule…make one!!

  26. Pijan says:

    Mazzagatti is a douche. Never have cared for him much.

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