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Ref Dan Miragliotta Defends Stoppage of Kimbo Slice-James Thompson Fight

Mixed martial arts referee Dan Miragliotta was harshly criticized by CBS announcer Gus Johnson on Saturday night for stopping the Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson fight.

Since then he's been more than harshly criticized -- some MMA bloggers have even suggested that the fight was fixed.

In an interview with Cokin and Cofield on ESPN Radio in Las Vegas, Miragliotta defended his decision. Saying the criticism of the stoppage comes from "13-year-old kids on the web that never fought a day in their life," Miragliotta said his reason for stopping the fight was simple:
"Why I stopped the fight was the uppercut-cross-hook-uppercut combination that knocked him on his ass -- well, not on his ass, but it knocked him into the fence. I looked into his eyes. I saw the blank stare, I knew he was out of it, I stopped the fight, and when I grabbed him to tell him the fight was over he still thought he was fighting Kimbo. He tried to take a swing at me and didn't realize where he was at."

Miragliotta called Thompson's badly damaged ear "one of the most disgusting things I've seen in a fight, ever," but said the ear was not the reason he stopped the fight -- Miragliotta stopped the fight only because Thompson looked dazed from being punched in the head. He also said that, contrary to what Brett Rogers thinks, Slice never tapped out during the fight. And he said Thompson was never close to finishing Slice.

Although I personally think Miragliotta stopped the fight prematurely, I never thought the fight was fixed, and I respect Miragliotta as a referee. Stopping a fight is a judgment call, and Miragliotta made his judgment.

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