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NJAC is making things worse for themselves

After the EliteXC event on Saturday, the New Jersey Athletic Board went into damage control mode, with mouthpiece Nick Lembo, doctor Sherry Wulkan, and ref Dan Miragliotta making the rounds to sell the fact that they were 100% perfect and justified in all their actions. The problem is: each of them have told a few white lies which drag down the legitimacy of everything else they say.

First let’s look at Dan Miragliotta, who claimed James Thompson pushed him because Thompson thought he was still fighting Kimbo. This is about the most insulting lie of the bunch because it’s so blatantly untrue. Anybody watching the event saw Thompson stop fighting and then REACT to Miragliotta waving off the fight.

Next, let’s look at doctor Sherry Wulkan, who claims that both Scott Smith and Kaitlin Young thanked her in their locker rooms for stopping the fights. While we’re still waiting to hear from Smith (who sure looked super happy that the fight was stopped at the time), Kaitlin Young has responded:

Also, the doc that checked me out right after the round okayed me. The commission came over to my corner, with Dr. Sherry ???? in tow, and then the fight was ended. Things I said afterward have been twisted, but I definitely did not want to stop fighting yet and I did not thank anyone for the stoppage.

Here’s the deal: I’m not against the majority of the decisions that were made last Saturday. The NJAC knew they were on CBS being watched by millions and they took extra steps to make sure nothing would happen to damage their reputation or the reputation of the sport. But by being dishonest and trying to twist the fighters’ words and actions to justify their decisions, it just makes them look like they’re trying to cover up incompetence.

Honestly, they should have just come out and said “Of course the fighters don’t agree, the fighters are fucking idiots. Kaitlin Young would have gone out and had her face split open hardcore. Scott Smith was willing to fight with one eye. And of course Thompson was angry with the stoppage. He lost. Fighters are simply too involved at the time to make reasonable assessments of their situation, and that’s why athletic commissions exist: to do it for them.”

This isn’t the first time the NJAC has responded to a fighter’s accusations with a version that makes them seem less like assholes. Before I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but now … not so much.

  • frickshun

    I’m not a fan of Kimbo but Thompson was on fucking queer street when the ref stepped in. Besides having no cardio (typical for the big guys) or ground game to finish Kimbo, he let him up & got opened the fuck up. Get over it “sacrificial lamb”.

  • Stellar53

    My problem with your assessment is

    1. that you think it was okay for the NJAC to stop a fight
    2. You think it was okay for the NJAC to stop a fight because of what might happen
    3. the fighters are being screwed over

    It really isn’t fair to the fighters that just because they are on national television that the rules have changed and they aren’t going to get their right to fight the 3 rounds they were supposed to. So what if Young was getting her ass kicked. She could could have come out the next round, threw a flying knee, knocked the shit out of Gina and won the fight. The fight wasn’t stopped because of concern for the fighter’s safety. It was stopped because of the concern for CBS’ reputation and worry of people being outraged that a girl might bleed. And as for the Lawler/Smith fight. I think that fight was stopped merely because they knew they were running way over the time slot allotted (just my opinion).

    If fights on CBS keep looking as they did on Friday, Fights are going to keep looking like they are rigged. Maybe they should rename mma on national tv to SOFTCORE MMA.

  • Stellar53

    As for the Kimbo fight, the shots he was taken in the second round were no softer than the shots Matt Hughes was laying on BJ Penn to win in their title fight. I watched the fight again and the elbows and punches were a lot harder than they really looked the first time. The fight should have been stopped and Kimbo should have lost.

  • frickshun

    I don’t think the stoppages were as outrageous as the backlash has made them. Kaitlin was starting to take some serious punishment. Smith should have definitely been given his time b4 calling the fight. That was the only problem I had. Saying a stoppage was due to the time slot going over is ridiculous.

  • godzillad

    You guys have seen the video where Skala says something to Gary Shaw and walks out and Gary says ”James Thompson has just been loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital. He has labor-like(?!) breathing patterns and everyone should say a prayer for him” and the camera pans left to show James Thompson standing six feet away from him.

    Then he’s like ”Oh, I guess he’s better now. I think he’s gonna say a few words first” and Thompson talks for about five minutes without breathing heavy once. Baroni told James to ask about his win bonus and Gary said ”we’ll see” but after James left he said ”Not if he wants to be working for this company in the morning”.

  • Stellar53

    Frickshun, like I said, Kaitlin was taking a lot of damage, but do you know how many awesome fights we wouldn’t have been able to witness if every fight was stopped just because they were taking a lot of punishment. Hell, every Nog fight should have been stopped from the beatings he’s taken, Brock Lesnar would have won etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. How many times have you seen it, a person gets his/her ass totally kicked for a round or two and comes back to win the fight or wins the last round to make an awesome fight.

    It isn’t fair to the fighter. If they were allowed to stop fights because they think there is a chance that the fighter might get hurt, there would be no mma or even boxing, because the is a great chance of that in every single fight…

  • Asbel

    godzillad, i would like to see that video if you have a link.

  • Pramit

    Well-said FightLinker. I think more than anything else, the authorities are losing the PR war, whatever we think of the actual decisions themselves.

  • Tertio

    I have relativelly no problem with the Young and Smith stoppages. The Smith stoppage was bullshit (He should have been given 5 minutes THEN the doc makes the call) but doesnt reek of foul play.

    The Thompson fight is the fight that bothers me the most. Miragliotta is either dirty, the worst fucking ref in the universe or is as infuencable as a 15 yo slightly overweight girl wanting to fit in.

    Guys the air inside your ass is not good for you.

  • ninjitsu

    According to Big John (, fighters only get 5-minutes to recover after a low blow. They *don’t* get 5-minutes to recover after an eye poke. Is this only in NJ??

    Anyway, anytime you tell a doctor “I can’t see!!” they aren’t going to let you fight. Saying “My eye is teary, just give me a minute” might be better if you’re wanting to continue.

  • cyph

    Okay, this is comedy gold:

    Shaw goes “Thompson is in the hospital because of complications. Everyone, please pray for him.” Then cue camera pan as Thompson is standing there sipping a bottle of water.” LOL.

    The fact of the matter is, we can make a case for a fighter taking too much damage or a fight should be stopped earlier. However, a fighter’s career is on the line. A win or loss in a high profile bout could mean the difference between making 50k or 10k. As a referee, you need to be impartial in how you call a fight. You can not allow any doubt on whether a bout was stopped prematurely or not. Like the judges who see 10-8 for one fighter while another see 10-9 on another, opinions are subjective. If you allow your opinions to determine the result of a fight, then there can be no legitimacy in a fight. If referees had that kind of discretion, fight fixing would be extremely easy.

    If Thompson looks like he’s about to be KOed, then let him be KOed. If Scott Smith thinks he can continue, then let him continue. If Young is feeling fine regardless of whether her face looks like the bride of Frankenstein’s, then that’s her prerogative. This is the fight game, not figure skating. People get injured in the fight game. If you call a fight because of a perceived possible injury, then why fight at all. The NJAC should be ashamed of themselves and for lying blatantly to defend their actions.

    If they admit their mistakes, that makes them human. If they justify their mistakes, that just makes them total assholes.

  • tertio

    Like i said the Smith stoppage didnt make me jump from the couch and shoot the TV with a 45. Just thought it was kinda BS that the ref tell him: Dude you got 5 minutes then having the doc say FIGHTS OVER 30 seconds later.

  • asdfasd

    In the UFC (meaning unified MMA rules), you DO get 5 min for EYE POKE. See George Sotiropoulos vs. Speer in TUF6 eye poke. He got 5 min but didn’t take it. It seems you also get 5 min in EliteXC. Although him saying he can’t see was like asking to be stopped.

    The Thompson fight was fucking bullshit. Like people say, either ref Dan is super shit or it’s fixed.
    1. Stand up from side control. 2. Didn’t stop the fight while Kimbo was getting elbowed 3. Early stoppage of Thompson 4. Shit excuse that Thompson was confused 5. Didn’t stop the fight when Kimbo tapped.

  • Echolocating

    All the blatant lies tells me how slimy the situation is, which just makes it even more probable that the fights were influenced in one way or another. I don’t think the fights were blatantly fixed though (clearly Thompson wasn’t told to take a dive), but there’s no doubt in my mind that everyone was to give Kimbo the benefit of the doubt over Thompson and to error way too much on the side of caution when assessing injuries. The damage control being used is laughable. Is it a coincidence that this much incompetence happened all across the board? Hmmm.

  • RL Dookiefuck

    u guys are just a bunch of 13 yr olds who have never had a fight, oysters are delicious — Dan MirgliOtter

  • godzillad

    People need to shut up with this ”IT WASN’T FIXED! MMA ISN’T FIXED!” crap. Gary Shaw is from the dirtiest sport in the world, boxing, and he’s bringing all the slime, corruption and shadiness with him. The faster he gets out of this sport the better it will be for everyone.

  • fightfan

    AS for the Lawler/Smith and Carano/Kaitlyn fight….I can understand why they erred on the side of caution by stopping early……

    But if that is what they are going with WHY THE HELL would they let someone with both arms trapped, take elbows for over a minute straight??? Sure they werent devastating elbows, but 50 elbows to the temple look like what they they look like. If they were worried about how it would look , then turned their heads during that round and fight

  • Stellar53

    “AS for the Lawler/Smith and Carano/Kaitlyn fight….I can understand why they erred on the side of caution by stopping early……”

    Why can you understand the early stops? Neither person was too hurt to go on and any other show (other than the one on network television) would have let them keep fighting. They stopped them merely because they were on NTV and that isn’t fair to the fighters or their records.

  • frickshun

    Please tell me someone else laughed out loud at “Mirgli-Otter”??

  • kwagnuth

    Maybe Kimbo is the mike Tyson of MMA Mike bites ears off and Kimbo explodes them. Gary Shaw is a fuckin genious.

  • fightlinker

    “I can understand” does not mean “I agree with”. They made decisions that I don’t agree with as a fan, but they’re not fans, they’re an athletic commission and their concerns are very different from ours.

    Personally, I’d rather everyone fought to the death like in Thunderdome