D Wizzle (http://dwizzlesworld.blogspot.com) talked to MMA referee, Steve Mazzagatti, to get his take on the KNOXX’s Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Kevin Burns fight that took place on July 19 as part of UFC Fight Night 14. Mazzagatti was the referee for that particular fight.
KNOXX’s Johnson was on his way to a victory but got poked severely in the eye at the end of the third round. Johnson had to have surgery on his right eye due to the damage from Burns’ eye poke.
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.
What do you have to say to all the fans out there who are ripping you for your call in that fight?
I would have loved to call the fight while sipping a cold one on my La-Z-Boy watching the replay over and over. Good work Guys.
How do you deal with the backlash? Does it ever get to you?
I can understand why the fans are bummed out. It bums me out also. I can only call it the way I see it and I didn’t see it. My bad.
Is it true that you apologized to Johnson after the fight?