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Dan Miragliotta’s officiating results in many WTFs

When a “woman” who actually looks more like a sexless, 500-lb tub of lard shows up to the beach in a thong, it certainly has a way of distracting our horrified (or lustful, if you’re into that sort of thing) gazes away from lesser fatties. In the same way, Mario Yamasaki’s call to disqualify Erick Silva in his fight against Carlo Prater on Saturday led to lesser scrutiny being applied to Dan Miragliotta’s questionable officiating in the Vitor Belfort-Anthony Johnson fight. But that doesn’t mean that Miragliotta’s officiating was any less of a shit show than it would have been in isolation.

Much was made of the fact that Rumble got tired before a single round was out. Clearly, when one’s entire job is to show up able to fight for three rounds (showing up at the contracted weight is evidently not even a requirement), there is no excuse for gassing like Johnson did. However, when a fighter is forced to shoot for takedowns constantly because he keeps getting stood up for no good reason, it can certainly contribute to fatigue. Johnson was essentially being forced by an over-demanding partner to perform reverse piledriver, twisted doggy, and the wheelbarrow when he signed up for (and was doing perfectly well at) vanilla-flavored missionary.

The fighters were restarted in standing position three times in a fight that didn’t even last a full round. Johnson was stood up after 36 seconds in Vitor’s guard the first time after popping out to attempt to pass. The second time Rumble secured a takedown, he was stood up in only 31 seconds. Rumble also secured a single leg and was working for another takedown against the fence, but this position was broken up in only 30 seconds. Not that Rumble was doing much in Belfort’s guard, but the frequency of standups was more fitting for a stadium crowd doing the wave.

The fact that these standups, which clearly benefited Belfort, occurred after Johnson missed weight by 11 pounds and then laughed about it was not only a bit suspicious, it led to open speculation in some circles that it may have been a fix. Of course, many of the accusers mysteriously misplaced their balls when they thought of car crashes in Oregon and “Fuck you, Loretta Hunt”. BleacherReport posted an article insinuating that Miragliotta was paid to sway the fight in Belfort’s direction, but quickly took it down and replaced it with a much tamer “Dan Miragliotta is a loser” snippet buried within an 18-page post. Several tweets on the subject were also deleted. As for me, I have no clue what was going on. What say you, jackals? Did Miragliotta get a little extra butter for his biscuits, or is he just an idiot who doesn’t understand that we shouldn’t be using a 30-second time limit for ground fighting?

  • CAP

    He also reffed the Kimbo Slice/James Thompson fight which had many questionable officiating moments. So basically if he ain’t doing any dirty work he just must be a bad ref. He’s not as cringe worthy as Cecil Peeps but he’s got a spotty track record.

  • bosswell

    My 52 year old mother was watching this fight and she even called bullshit on those calls. She joked that Dan was afraid that the Brazilian crowd would riot if Johnson layed&prayed his way through a hero like Belfort, especially after Yamasaki’s call.

  • mmaddict89

    he could have been intimidated by the crowd
    brazil sports fans can be nuts, there was a riot after a renzo gracie fight once

  • glassjawsh

    this is fucking retarded.

    johnson tried to pass belforts guard exactly 0 times (and to insinuate otherwise means you weren’t paying attention, when johnson “popped out” he was trying to punch vitor in the face). pretty sure the letter of the law states that if you’re not trying to improve your position you get stood up.

    it also makes sense that after tan dan stood them up once for just laying there, that when THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING HAPPENED AGAIN, he’d give anthony even less of a leash to just lay there and not do shit.

    as soon as a ref starts to think that a fighter has 0 intention of passing guard, the fight should be stood up

  • dick

    ^^^ It’s not easy passing guard on a BJJ blackbelt. Just because he wasn’t constantly attempting flashy cartwheel passes or doing other shit, which would probably let Belfort escape anyway, doesn’t mean that he deserves to have his effort in securing multiple takedowns nullified.

    In this sport, you come in knowing that you can be taken down, and if you get taken down, as Joe Rogaine would say, tough shit. Work your way up on your own… go for subs or sweeps. Just because stalemates can develop over a period of 30 seconds or so doesn’t mean that the ref has to jump in. You signed up for a fight where takedowns happen, so deal with it.

    With that attitude, you and your fishlike attention span might as well go watch some boxing. Boxing refs will also separate clinches for you, so you won’t have to deal with any of that boring-ass homoerotic “wrestling” and all you’ll have to see is slobberknocking from now on.

  • glassjawsh

    ^ you’re literally ignoring the rules of the sport. I don’t understand your agenda…..

    just because you can take someone down, doesn’t mean that you have the right to just lay there and not do shit. that’s why people get shitty with lay and pray fighters (and why people get so shitty with subo for defending them).

    the entire point of a fight should be working towards a finish, and once a ref determines that that is not happening, stand them up.

    unless you’re just trolling everyone.

    in which case well played sir

  • dick

    Go watch any high-level grappling competition, wrestling competition, etc. You obviously never have. Once you reach the highest levels of any grappling sport, people nullify each other and stalemates happen. That does not mean that the fighters are not “working for a finish”. Your opinion is obviously coming from the perspective of someone who is completely inexperienced as far as actual grappling training and merely wants to say “rah rah” as he watches highlight reels. That ain’t the real world.

    If all you want to see is stand-up fighting, there are other sports for that. Mixed martial arts includes a ground game, and the ground game has some parts that are more and less exciting than others. It’s still interesting to watch if one is educated about it. But since you don’t seem interested in becoming educated, I think boxing is much more your speed.

  • glassjawsh

    yup, troll job

    had me for a minute

  • Jarman

    I think you just got reverse had…..I’m pretty sure he’s serious.

    Those were pretty ridiculously quick standups, but from rumble’s previous fight with hardy, and his failed attempt at cutting weight, it seemed pretty clear what his intentions were. I think it’s a stretch to insinuate any palm greasing…..more likely dan had zero respect for rumble’s antics, and was giving him no room as a result. plus the whole terrifying locals thing. Who knows what they’dve done…..maybe tried feeding his big orange ass to a bus?

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    If all you want to see is stand-up fighting, blah blah tump ti tink ta tiddly derp.

    Don’t start that “Watch kickboxing” bullshit like Ground fighting doesn’t exist to defeat your opponent either by sub or (T)KO.  This isn’t high-level grappling games, this includes striking, which changes the game completely.  You can use strikes to open up subs or passes, passes to open up strikes and … you get the idea.

    I can’t believe I fell for it, but come the fuck on.

  • P W

    It went down something like this in an arena corridor:

    “Yo Dan, glad I bumped into you. Saw you’re gonna ref the Vitor-Johnson fight. Look, you know me, I’d never tell you how to do your job, but I’d personally not think it would be such a great idea if the guy coming in 12 pound overweight were allowed to simply lay on top of the local star for 3 rounds and take home a decision, you know what I’m saying? The fans in the arena might not like that. And it would make us look bad too for letting the fatty fight in the first place. I’m sure you will make the smart decision though. See you at the after party! Drinks on me!”

  • dick

    DJ: The other guy’s grappling skill can seriously impact the advisability and effectiveness of strikes. Even Fedor eventually got submitted trying GnP. If Rumble would have tried too many strikes, he would have lost the position.

  • P W

    glassjawsh: “as soon as a ref starts to think that a fighter has 0 intention of passing guard, the fight should be stood up”

    Even if that’s all true and well, I just want some damn consistency and predictability in my reffing, and in this case, and in the case of the Yamasaki stoppage, the outcome was very surprising, and that’s not a good thing.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Dick: You’re not thinking fourth dimensionally.

  • G Funk

    The carrot was definitely standing them up way too fucking fast. However, I fucking hate Dick and his hastily shitted elitist, “your not educated/experienced/go watch boxing” discussion. At least make it funny like Frick does you bitchy douche.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    The standups were quick, I’m not arguing that, just the Dickery.  But now that I’m thinking about it, Considering how sluggish Rumble was, perhaps Dan was trying to stop him from resting?  Maybe that’s the reason for the quickness?

  • glassjawsh

    just rewatched the fight.

    before the first standup AJ had literally only thrown one punch from the top (after belfort went for the armbar/omoplata)and got turned around by vitor putting his feet on the cage. other than pressing his head into belfort’s chest and breathing heavily, he was offering nothing from the top. the “popping up” you reference doesnt exist at all btw. should it have been allowed to continue for a few more seconds? maybe, but nothing AJ was doing indicates that he was going to try anything other than being really tired and laying in belfort’s guard.

    second “stand up” wasn’t even that. it reminded me a lot of the Florian/BJ fight that was reset from the cage several times (and no one bitched about it). If your Miragliotta was bought off situation was true, it wouldn’t make sense for him to reset the fighters from a position in which Vitor was in almost no danger of being taken down and was also landing multiple heavy blows to AJ’s head and torso.

    after the second reset, AJ was already visibly tired and other than a few Guida shoulder shrugs was content to rest in vitor’s guard the 3rd time around.

    you’re an ass clown for writing this, but so am i for taking the bait and responding

  • dick

    DJ: lol… fighters have to rest during fights. Unless they smoke every opponent in less than a minute, they all do it on some level. It’s impossible to sustain 100% maximum exertion for more than a minute or two without slowing down. Even Bas Rutten used to say that he would time 30-second bursts of full power between minutes of rest.

    Jawsh: I never said that Johnson was DOING A LOT in Belfort’s guard. In fact, I clearly stated that he wasn’t doing much. But the fact remains that the standups were way too quick and could have resulted from crowd influence or something. I never said that I believe Dan was “bought off”; I merely stated that others seem to think so. At any rate, there is no way that fighters should be automatically stood up after 30 seconds of groundwork under any circumstances unless the bell rings. 30 seconds in, sometimes the fighters are still trying to get their bearings or get some much-needed rest after the exertion of the takedown.

    G Funk – Fuck you too, buddy :)

  • Jim Harbaugh Scramble

    Standups were appropriate. Props to Big Dan for not letting rumble lay his way to a decision. Big Dan is the best in the biz besides Rosenthal.

  • OlyReigns

    The stand ups were a bit quick. Gotta give a guy a chance to work from the ground a bit more. I did not like the separation from the clinch, That seemed completely unnecessary. I do think stand ups have their place though. It is one of the most painful things to watch a fighter you like get layed on for 15 mins for a decision. The Tyrone Woodly fight being a the best most recent example. They should have been stood up plenty of times. That all being said fighters need to be using tactics like rubber guard or aggressive elbows from the bottom when someone is content to just lay on you. Can’t always count on a Miragliotta to save you.

  • islandguy

    52 is not that old fuckface

  • Reverend Clint

    Tan dan the danger man fucking up fights any way he can

  • iamphoenix

    what a pretentious douche cum muncher. you have like no humility, arguing to win rather than what really happened.
    whatever, I don’t see the point any of this. “did dan get bribed?” sounds like something those old men on the view hiss about.

  • bakapoki

    Who cares if Dan was paid? Fatty J was nullified by Vitor’s guard and just lying on him with Vitor totally controlling the wrists. All the other ref’s should actually be emulating big sexy gorilla Dan – this would lead to more exciting fights all around and less of the Fitch blanket technique.

  • Letibleu

    Standups were quick and I was thinking it was punishment. I am happy AJ was not allowed to stay still in the only position his missing weight gave him an advantage. As for the fairness of it, I think Dan is a hero for single handedly diffusing a potential riot. He saved a lot of people that day.

  • P W

    It’s gonna be interesting/telling to see how quickly Dan will be standing fighters up in the next fight he referees.

  • thingvolds

    i agree with dick

  • thingvolds

    and yes it seems either punishment for the weight fiasco or the crowd might have influenced those separations.

  • theinsaneoneJustinMcCully

    Remember rumble…stay active. Wish more refs would stand up lay and pray, it’s obvious he was going to do no significant damage on the ground.

  • I am the Liquor

    So I see Subo has changed his username and is now dick.

    Gee, never saw that coming.



  • frickshun

    C’mon you guys……(hands on hips)……are you really saying that you should stand a fighter up just because he lays on top like he may have just died from exhaustion?! He was working hard to maintain that face to belly position with the dreaded “limp arms” technique.

    Hey dickface–>just b/c you train a bit of BJJ doesn’t exactly qualify you to dictate how the rest of us should enjoy a sport. Pompous fucking idiot. The stand-ups were maybe 15 seconds quicker than they should have been. Big fucking deal.

  • Letibleu

    Most of us seem to agree that the standups seemed fast and biased but also that most of us seem to agree that in this case it really was not a bad thing. I just hope this was an isolated incident due to the circumstances and not incompetence on behalf of the ref..