Dan Miragliotta hasn't yet sat down to watch the replay of this past Saturday's UFC 142 bout between Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson, but as the contest's referee, he remembers it vividly in his mind.
"If there's two guys on the ground that aren't doing anything or if they're in a takedown position and they're just very tired so they're leaning against each other and they're not going for a single-leg or they're not trying something different to change their position, I give them some time," Miragliotta today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "I warn them, and then I'll separate them."
Miragliotta's critics say his three restart calls, two that came with Johnson in top position and one with "Rumble" in a takedown position against the cage, were unfair and far too hasty, but the referee said he felt his decisions were all warranted.
"[Johnson] established position and then just held his wrist and laid on top of him," Miragliotta said. "He had that one real nice, heavy punch that kind of busted up Vitor's face in the very early beginning of the first round, and then after that his takedowns had just kind of stopped."
Some critics suggested the rowdy HSBC Arena crowd had something to do with Miragliotta's calls. After all, the arena was decidedly pro-Belfort and made it clear they weren't enjoying Johnson's time on top.
Miragliotta, a veteran of big fights all over the world, said that simply isn't true.
"Honestly, the way the fans were screaming and hollering for the fight, I don't think it would have mattered if it was up or down," Miragliotta said. "They were just into the fight. I don't listen to the crowd. They don't bother me." LINK