Referee, Dan Miragliotta, ruins another great fight

UFC 85:  BEDLAM

London, England

Saturday June 7, 2008

Heavyweight -Fabricio Werdum (10-3-1) vs. Brandon Vera (8-1)
This is the first fight on the televised card. Werdum is coming off a big win against Gabriel Gonzaga, who knocked out Mirko CroCop, who is Fabricio Werdum’s striking coach. Werdum’s only loss is against the UFC Heavyweight Champ, Nougeira. Brandon Vera is one of the best Heavyweights in the game. Although Vera lost a recent fight against Tim Sylvia in the UFC, he went the distance and looked pretty good in that fight. As Round 1 starts in this Werdum vs. Vera matchup, Vera comes out with a leg kick. They clinch against the cage. Knee by Vera. Strikes by Werdum. More punches from Werdum. Vera tying up with a clinch. Werdum gets a nice takedown; he’s on top of Vera. Vera has Werdum in his gaurd. Vera kicks him off and gets up. A little scrambe and they are back toe to toe. Brandon lands some shots and Werdum backs up. Clinched again. Ref breaks them up. Werdum trips Vera with a nice takedown. Werdum makes a nice pass to half gaurd and mounts Brandon Vera. Holy Crap. Brandon Vera squirming like a fish with no defense at all. He looks completely out of place. Joe Rogan says it’s a bad stoppage but I say it is not. Dan Miragliotta who was bashed this entire week for making some accusingly terrible calls is the referee of this fight. How this guy ended up in London after calling the Kimbo Slice fight in New Jersey last week I have no idea. Miragliotta I foresee will take a ton of heat for this. Werdum at post fight interview said that Vera was saying something as he was being mounted and punished and the referee took it as he was saying he wanted the fight to stop. Brandon Vera said he did not say he wanted to stop. Rogan reiterates that he thinks it was stopped prematurely. That really sucked because I was really looking forward to this fight. I thought it was going to be a real war and possibly fight of the night. I can understand why Dan, the ref, stopped the fight because Vera looked to be in real trouble; he just looked terrible after he was mounted and that was very surprising to me. It’s like he instantly forgot everything proper defense and just started squirming. And we see this alot from top tier fighters and I’m not sure if they just panic or what it is but it’s almost like they know that being fully mounted is such a dominant position that they just go into complete panic mode. If I had to say in summary what happened right there is Brandon Vera panicked. Poor Dan MIragliotta; he’s ruined more fights in two weeks than most refs do in their whole career. Geez.

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