Referee Steve Mazzagatti Discusses Lesnar-Mir Fight — An MMAjunkie.com Interview
MMAJUNKIE.COM: OK, onto the fight. When we spoke earlier, you mentioned that the decision to deduct Lesnar one point for strikes to the back of Mir’s head was pretty clear. Can you explain?
STEVE MAZZAGATTI: These fighters are extremely skilled fighters, and a grappler like Frank, that’s what they’re trained to do: when you have a guy in half guard on top of you, you don’t want to give the guy room to punch. So that was Mir’s defense. You suck up close to (your opponent’s) chest, tuck yourself up under them, and that covers you from getting hit. At first, Brock started to do the right thing by winding up with the hook from behind and pushing Mir’s head away from his stomach. Then you can blast him in the face… but to have to worry about getting struck in the back in the head in a situation like that isn’t something Frank should have had to worry about. But that was a target that presented itself to Brock.
for the full interview go to
UFC 81 Draws Live Gate of $2,437,890
The paid-attendance figure is the second-lowest ever recorded at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, which has hosted 15 UFC events to date. The only UFC event to draw a smaller paid attendance at the venue was UFC 48, which featured a main event of Ken Shamrock vs. Kimo Leopoldo. Just 6,528 fans paid to attend the June 2004 event.
However, while those figures are below average for the venue, UFC 81 likely registered higher-than-normal pay-per-view buys. The event featured a headline bout between Tim Sylvia and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the UFC’s interim heavyweight title, but the main attraction was the debut of former World Wrestling Entertainment performer Brock Lesnar, who took on one-time UFC champ Frank Mir. The UFC marketed Lesnar’s UFC debut extensively, hoping to attract part of the WWE’s substantial fan base.
Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to know if the UFC was successful. Because the organization is a privately owned company, the UFC doesn’t publicly release the number of pay-per-view buys for its events
The past 10 events at the Mandalay Bay Events Center:
UFC 81 (2/2/08) — 10,583 attendance (7,167 paid) for $2,437,890 live gate
UFC 79 (12/29/07) — 11,075 attendance (10,968 paid) for $4,994,000 live gate
UFC 74 (8/25/07) — 11,118 attendance (9,622 paid) for $3,307,000 live gate
UFC 67 (2/3/07) — 10,227 attendance (8,700 paid) for $2,767,130 live gate
UFC 64 (10/14/06) — 10,173 attendance (8,913 paid) for $1,790,490 live gate
UFC 62 (8/26/06) — 9,859 attendance (8,954 paid) for $3,040,880 live gate
UFC 61 (7/8/06) — 11,167 attendance (9,999 paid) for a $3,350,775 live gate
UFC 58 (3/4/06) — 9,569 attendance (8,183 paid) for $1,758,450 live gate
UFC 57 (2/4/06) — 11,000 attendance (10,301 paid) for $3,382,400 live gate
UFC 51 (2/5/05) — 11,072 attendance (9,268 paid) for $1,493,100 live gate
Rage In The Cage XVI
"Wildfire" Johnny Rage returns with his weekly column. In this week's column he tackles UFC 81, a preview of UFC 82, World Victory Road and his thoughts on MMA "Smart Fans" and his thoughts on the Super Bowl.
Cards Announced for Upcoming UFCs
Lineups for the next two UFC pay-per-view events were made official Monday.
Joining the highly-anticipated March 1 UFC middleweight title fight in Columbus, Ohio, between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Dan Henderson are four main card attractions featuring recognizable names across three weight divisions.
UFC 81 proved how the sport's elite rose to the top
Over the years, the lexicon of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become entrenched in the language of mixed martial arts. Royce Gracie introduced the masses to the potency of the discipline in the earliest Ultimate Fighting Championships, and since then, fighters hoping to make a dent in the sport have had to incorporate a significant amount of BJJ knowledge into their own repertoire. Understanding how to use BJJ as an offensive weapon, and simply learning how to defend against its various joint locks and chokes is a must into today's MMA.
And just in case BJJ's importance had been forgotten, UFC 81 served as a stark reminder of its continued presence, and need. The technique ultimately decided four of the five main card fights and both main event fights. Height, strength, and hype proved sadly ineffective when confronted by BJJ.
Five Questions in the Wake of UFC 81
The UFC's media campaign has repeatedly stressed that the spectacle of MMA -- those bygone days when fighters showed up in wife beaters and singlets, listing Tae Bo as a discipline -- is ancient history.
Yet that weird buzz in one's central nervous system, the one you used to get when watching athletes of unknown origin and ability, was present during Saturday's UFC 81 card. Observing Brock Lesnar (Pictures), a human being of formidable proportions, rain hammer fists down on Frank Mir (Pictures) helped recapture some of the early knot-in-stomach jitters of the cruder, single-digit events. (Lesnar's knife tattoo, so ignobly displayed on his mammoth chest, might as well have been a giant question mark.)
We got at least one answer: Lesnar, while seemingly the most athletic 265-pound man ever to step into a cage, has a ways to go before promoters need to resize the heavyweight strap.
New Dana interview.
I listened to it but you've got to laugh at some of the stuff he says!
He can't be serious can he?!
On Couture and Fedor Emelianenko:
Randy Couture, right now is the best fighter in the world. Fedor is a farce. He [just fought] "Long Duck Dong"...we'll just call him that. It's a joke. This guy hasn't beat anybody since 2005 and you know who was the last guy he beat in 2005? Mirko Cro Cop who just lost to two guy's that nobody's...you know.
- Shawn Bias realeased, starts road to recovery
Shawn Bias is on his way to making a full recovery from injuries allegedly sustained in a recent struggle with Oroville police.
The former Palace Fighting Championship featherweight champion was released from the Oroville Hospital on Wednesday and spoke about his incident for the first time.
Bias allegedly ran from officers outside an¬ apartment complex in Oroville at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20. Oroville police were called to investigate a disturbance and upon making contact with the 22-year-old mixed martial artist, Bias reportedly ran and ignored orders from police to stop or be shot by a taser.
The Chico Enterprise Recorder reported that Bias was eventually caught by two officers and was tased a total of five times according to Oroville Police Chief Kirk Trostle. Some of the tasings were “drive stuns” which involves the taser making direct contact with the victim.
Bias was restrained and taken to the Oroville Hospital where he was treated for a heart attack and went into kidney failure.
Good to hear he is going to make a full recovery, especially after being given only a 30% chance to survive.
Cote added to ufc 83 card
Cote will be on the ufc 83 card. 2 possible opponents are alan belcher(10-3) or newcomer johnny rees(8-0)
i hope ufc feeds belcher to cote.
Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter Official for UFC 83
Rumors of the bout have popped up for weeks, but we can now confirm that former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (22-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and “The Ultimate Fighter 4” winner Travis Lutter (9-4 MMA, 2-3 UFC) will meet at UFC 83, which takes place April 19 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
UFC 81 Medical Suspensions Issued to Six Fighters
The full list includes:
Tim Sylvia — suspended until March 3 with no contact until Feb. 24 for precautionary reasons (third-round submission loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira)
Frank Mir — suspended until March 3 with no contact until Feb. 24 due to a scalp laceration (first-round submission win over Brock Lesnar)
Kyle Bradley — suspended until March 19 with no contact until March 2 due to a facial laceration (first-round KO loss to Chris Lytle)
David Heath — must have nasal fracture cleared by a doctor or suspended until Aug. 1; minimum suspension until April 3 with no contact until March 19 (first-round TKO loss to Tim Boetsch)
Marvin Eastman — suspended until March 2 with no contact until Feb. 24 due to right upper-eyelid laceration (unanimous-decision victory over Terry Martin)
Keita Nakamura — suspended until March 19 with no contact until March 2 for precautionary reason (split-decision loss to Rob Emerson)
More Than 13,000 Tickets Sold in First Day of UFC 83 Pre-Sale
In less than a day, the UFC has sold more than 13,000 tickets for its April 19 event in Montreal.
UFC President Dana White released the sales figures during today’s UFC 83 press conference in Montreal, which was carried by Yahoo! Sports, a content-partner site of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). White was joined at the media event by UFC welterweight champ Matt Serra and interim champ Georges St. Pierre, who meet in UFC 83’s main event.
Wow, I wonder how many tickets will be left when the sale goes public...
Clock is ticking on Mirko Cro Cop and the UFC …
“We’re waiting to hear from him. We told him we’d wait for him to make a decision, but he’s not making a decision…. The deadline is pretty much up, and I need decision from him by Monday (February 4).”
UFC President Dana White provides an update on the Mirko Cro Cop situation — the 2006 Pride FC Open Weight Grand Prix Champion has a losing record inside the Octagon (1-2) and has not competed since UFC 75: “Champion vs. Champion” in September 2007. No word on what will happen if the deadline expires with no word from the Croatian.
Ed Herman vs Demian Maia at UFC 83?
During the press conference today, among the fighters Dana White announced to fight on the Canadian card, interestingly Ed Herman's name was stated along with the fighters already confirmed.
MMR: Nogueira’s 10 Best Nights
Considering Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's career full of brutal wars, many felt the Brazilian heavyweight might not have a lot left when he stepped into the Octagon Saturday night.
Just a few moments into his battle with Tim Sylvia it seemed as though those concerns had been confirmed. Detonating a massive right hand onto the Brazilian heavyweight's chin, it appeared as though Sylvia would win a UFC belt for the third time while Nogueira would have his legacy called into question.
But not so fast, folks.