Former UFC analyst Jimmy Smith ripped referee Big Dan Miragliotta for his handling of last weekend’s Stefan Struve vs. Ben Rothwell fight at UFC DC.
Struve was TKOed in the second round of his fight with Rothwell via punches, but not before he was the victim of a number of devastating low blows. Many fighters would have chosen not to continue to fight, but Struve decided to continue and ultimately lost.
The controversy came when microphones picked up on Miragliotta telling Struve that he believed he was winning the fight and should try to make it to the end of the second round so that the scorecards would have come into play and a technical decision would have been in order. If a fight ends before two rounds due to an accidental foul, it is a No Contest.
Smith, who has been involved in the fight game for years in the UFC and in Bellator, was not pleased with Miragliotta’s handling of the incident. Speaking on the “Our MMA Show” podcast, host Ryan Moody asked Smith to give his analysis of the Struve incident. Here’s what Smith said.
“Never from a referee. I’ve seen things like that from people who shouldn’t say stuff like that. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it from a referee before (giving advice on whether or not to continue fighting). I really mean that. For people that follow me on social media, they know I don’t have the volume up when I watch fights, so I didn’t know what he was talking about until I read it afterward, exactly what happened and the controversy and all that stuff. But it was one of those moments, I see what Dan was trying to do, he was trying to get the fight to continue, and he just tried to do too much,” Smith said.
“It was like where, ‘I don’t want to call it a no contest, c’mon,’ encouraging Struve to continue fighting and for there to be a fight. He let the moment kind of get to him. As a referee, you can’t do that. And he’s a human being and (we all) make mistakes, and I really like Dan as a referee and as a person, but he overstepped his bounds in terms of, a referee shouldn’t care about those things. Period. If the fight’s over because the guy can’t continue, it’s over. If you think the guy’s had too much then he’s had too much, it’s over. He kind of let the pressure of the crowd and everything and want the fight to continue, he let that get to him. It’s a mistake he shouldn’t have made.”
For his part, Struve appears to have let any sort of grudge for Miragliotta go despite the fact many felt he was screwed over. Rothwell, meanwhile, says he’s open to a rematch. It remains to be seen what the UFC does here, but one thing’s for sure, and that’s that Miragliotta didn’t handle the incident the correct way that a referee should.
Do you agree with Jimmy Smith’s criticisms of Big Dan Miragliotta’s officiating in the Stefan Struve vs. Ben Rothwell fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/12/2019.