One thing I can't overlook is the refereeing job done by the infamous Steve Mazzagatti, who is at this point notorious for his bad calls. Without rehashing any of his previous missteps, lets go over what happened this past Saturday. Mazzagotti has the best possible view of the action, and is positioned in the cage right where he should be (very, very uncommon). During the finale fight between Colton Smith and Mike Ricci on Saturday, Smith lands a low kick to Ricci's groin, and Ricci instantly reacts and looks to the ref for a time-out. At this point Mazzagati made some type of 'fight on' comment and the action continued. Joe Rogan said it best when he referred to the ref as 'spacing out' and missing the kick. Keep in mind this was a fight where two men were essentially fighting for their future, and their employment. On top of being responsible for both of their safety, the ref also has a job to do as far as enforcing rules.
It's sad that these platitudes need to be stated, but in the case of Mazzagatti, watching him referee a fight may make one ask what his role is to begin with. A fighter who was hit in the groin is allowed five minutes to recover, minutes that one fighter was denied because the ref, who was standing square in front of the two, tasked with watching all the action in the cage, simply didn't see the kick to the groin. I don't think I am alone in thinking that two fighter's can ref their own fight better than this man can, and I also think that he poses a danger to any fighter's he is refereeing. We need to take a new approach to the criticism of referees, and even judges. The commissions should have some form of complaint system in place where the UFC or any other promotion can challenge the effectiveness of either certain calls (or lack thereof), or certain individuals.
The stakes are too high for people like Steve Mazzagatti to have 'six figure' fights under their supervision. A fighter lives and dies by his mma record, and after a long and expensive training camp, with sponsorships, winning streaks, and titles on the line, they deserve a competent referee in the cage with them. We can tweet one liners all we want about the colossal sucktitude of guys like Mazzagatti, and Dana White can blast his effectiveness at every presser after he ruins the outcome of a big money fight, but until something like a fine or suspension is in place, we will still see our young sport affected by such ineptitudes.