Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Q&A With Steve Mazzagatti:Talks About Controversial Johnson/Burns Fight

D Wizzle talked to MMA referee, Steve Mazzagatti, to get his take on the Anthony "Rumble" Johnson/Kevin Burns fight that took place on July 19 as part of UFC Fight Night 14.  Mazzagatti was the referee for that particular fight and awarded a victory to Burns via TKO when Johnson fell down and turned his back to Burns in the third round.

Johnson was on his way to a victory but  got poked severely in his right eye which caused him to scream in pain. Johnson had to have surgery on his right eye due to the damage from Burns' eye poke. 

The agent for Johnson, Ken Pavia, is appealing the decision, and hopefully the fight will be changed to a No Contest.

Pictures of Johnson after his eye surgery can be seen here -


Q&A With Steve Mazzagatti


I know you have been getting criticized of late due to the controversial decision in the Johnson/Burns fight. Can you tell me what you saw in the third round when Johnson fell to the ground and turned his back screaming?


I did not see the eye poke as I was on the other side of the action. After he got hit, it looked like he went down from a punch,  so I called it the way I saw it. Remember,  we only have one or two seconds  to make a call, and without any  form of replay. I agree...it was a bullshit call but that's what I saw.


Do you think there should be instant replay in MMA?


It would be nice, but it could also be a problem. How far would it go? The place for the replay would be in the protest phase with the commission.


What do you have to say to all the fans out there who are ripping you for your call in that fight?


I would have loved to call the fight while sipping a cold one on my La-Z-Boy watching the replay over and over. Good work Guys.


How do you deal with the backlash? Does it ever get to you?


I can understand why the fans are bummed out. It bums me out also.  I can only call it the way I see it and  I didn't see it. My bad.



Is it true that you apologized to Johnson after the fight?


Yes. 





43 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's always 2 sides to every coin. It was a crappy call but you have to call it like you see it when it happens. Unfortunately there isn't any instant replay or the like so it is what it is. At least Maz is being honest here. It's a tough job no doubt.

Anonymous said...

ANTHONY "CRY BABY" JOHNSON... ACCIDENT DO HAPPENED. MOVE ON... IF YOU AFRAID TO GET POKE... JOIN THE OTHER SHOW LIKE..."PRICE IS RIGHT!" LMAO...

Anonymous said...

Maz is a stand up guy for telling us why he made the call that he did. At least he is accountable. He is no Tim Donahay.

Anonymous said...

Getting illegally poked isn't part of the sport of mma. Sure, accidents do happen but getting poked in the eye 5 times during the whole fight just isnt right! And everyone knew that Rumble wasnt crying at all but he keep his cool better than any fighter and show much respect to Burns. He even demanded respect from the fans there were booing at Burns. But being a ref is a tough job and I honestly did see what happened with that fight until I saw the replays so I can understand what Mazz had to deal with. Johnson will get the N/C anyways so things will be cleared and fixed anyways.

Anonymous said...

If u are afraid to get poked, don't go on facebook!! Does anyone think Kevin Burns goes on Facebook and pokes all his friends and the sluts that are on there?

Anonymous said...

Rumble will come back stronger than ever. He's a great fighter,very exciting,very classy, very well liked after this incident and Johnson doesnt seem to be bothered with what happened so everyone should just move on. The Hype on this fight is completely insane and this wasnt even on TMZ!!! The expousure these fighters are getting is ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Facebook?? Huh? WTF are you talking about homie You dont make no sense

Anonymous said...

I dont see why all the hate with Mazz. The refs cant see everything cuz they dont have like 20 eyes but I do agree that Mazz should have stopped the fight after Johnson got poked in the eye after then 3rd time. But refs have a hard job and they arent always right but they try their best. Unless they are trying to fix the fights for some other reasons.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Rumble is classy. Instead of harping on Maz, we should start a petiton to kick burns out of the ufc and MMA. he put rumbles life in jeaporrdy and career. Just to get a cheap win.
I would like to see him get a taste of his own medicine. Plus a kick to the balls

Anonymous said...

Josh Rosenthal - the next big thing in MMA Reffing!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Atleast Mazz knows he made a mistake and was man enough to apologize to Anthony regarding his bad call. And it seems like Anthony had no problem with him and said "Its all good" SO..its all good! Refs are human too and make mistakes even though UFC fans will remember this make forever. hahaha

Anonymous said...

The dude that called Rumble "cry baby" - U a douchebag son. I'd like to see u get poked in the eye. U would be crying like a 5 year old kid

Anonymous said...

Anthony Johnson has a Facebook?? I'm on his Myspace page but I dont think I ever saw him on Facebook or does he have a Fan page on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

Anyone that uses Facebook knows what a Poke is. I think that is what he was referring to. I agree that whats done is done and I am glad Maz owned up to his mistake. You don't see NFL refs own up to anything. You should have asked him about Cyborg and Basler Fight too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Burns shouldn't be in mma after giving all those reasons after his fight about why he sticks his fingers out. This time its a minor injury to Johnson but maybe next time he might actually blind someone THEN all the fans will say "I TOLD UFC THAT THIS MAY HAPPEN AFTER RUMBLE'S FIGHT AND NOW HE ACTUALLY BLINDED ANOTHER ATHLETE!" We here to enjoy this sport and watch this sport grow..NOT to watch fine athletes get physical disabled or permanenetly injured. We love full contact sport BUT we never really want people to die or become crippled for providing us sporting entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Rumble did say he prefers to get punched in the face compared to that deep eye poke. He said that eye poke was one of the most painful things that happened to him. He said he actually thought Burns blinded him and was totally freakin out. I feel sorry for Johnson because of what happened but I also feel kinda bad for Burns since hes kinda BlackBalled and quickly became one of the fans' most hated

Anonymous said...

I think the moustache got in the way of his eyesight. I'd like to see women MMA refs.

Anonymous said...

The guy that called Johnson a "Cry Baby" is just a key board warrior and probably never taken any sort of pain in his life! I bet a paper cut has that fool cryin his eyes out!

Anonymous said...

Atleast Mazz agreed on his BS call but he couldnt do anything about it. He was man enough to apologize and tell Rumble that he was wrong but he really cant call anything he wasnt able to see. It does take a lot of a ref to say it was his fault because most refs will tell u to FUCK OFF

Anonymous said...

If it wasnt for all those eye pokes thatJohnson got in the fight, Rumble would have KNOCK OUT Burns!! Im sure those multiple eye pokes irritated and distracted his concentration to perform at his best. Those knees that Johnson did on Burns were awesome but I have to give it to Burns cuz he did have a good chin.

John Patterson said...

Much respect to Mr Mazz for telling us his side of the deal. I think the fans did boo him in Stockton though?
Anthony Johnson if you r reading this, you are the MAN and I hope all MMA fighters and people learn from you in and out of the cage. god bless

Anonymous said...

Yea..the fans in Stockton at the last Elite XC event shown on CBS gave him no love.

Anonymous said...

For a mma blog site that I personally never heard of sure does get a lot of comments. Is everyone coming from this link on sherdog? http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f2/steve-mazzagatti-interview-discusses-anthony-johnson-eye-poke-controversy-823275/

Anonymous said...

Anthony Johnson a cry baby???? His fans are more the cry babies because they are the ones cryin over the outcome of his fight BUT thats what true mma fans do when they see what is justified! If anything Johnson hasnt been crying or complaining at all. Hes the one being a great sport despite what happened to him.

Anonymous said...

All the people that think an eye gouge doesnt hurt are probably fat beer belly assholes that also boo at everything at a live mma events. And the only active thing they do is sit on their fucking couch changing the channels on their remote control

Anonymous said...

Speaking of No Love, Rich Clementi is the ony fighter that has beaten Anthony J. and I would love to see them fight again since their first batttle was close and at a catch weight. I don't care for a rematch with Burns since I never even wanted to see that fight to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Mazzagati and Johnson should blame Burns for all this stupid controversy. If it wasn't for his constant open hand srikes and eye pokes, this would not put a black cloud on the judges, fighters, and refs.gotta agree with all the Burns bashers here since he did try to hurt Johnson on purpose.

Anonymous said...

I didnt want to watch the match up with Johnson and Burns to begin with. I know UFC brought in Burns to lose against Johnson anyways. It was Burn's 2nd fight in the UFC and he wasnt tested against a striker so he was basicly tossed on that card for a serious beating. Burns probably knew that and had to think of illegal tactics to try to win the fight.

Anonymous said...

WAR MAZ WAR AJ. I like to see AJ fight someone good as his next opponent now.

Anonymous said...

I think we all like Rumble to fight some better opponents so he can climb the title contender ladder. I have a feeling the UFC is slowly hyping and building up Anthony. More fans, more hype = more money for the live attendence, more $$ for ppv buys and more money for Rumble. Rumble already told his fans that he feels touched that they consider him as title contender already but he knows he still needs more work on his game, more experience and more fights under his belt. But of course if the money is good he says he never turns down any fight.

Anonymous said...

Much respect for Maz.. he manned up to that. And boo on Burns. That guy needs to be disciplined or fired.

Anonymous said...

Johnson is ONLY 24 years old and most mma champions average ages are in their late 20's and their early- mid 30s. Dude, Rumble got plenty of time to perfect his game, get more fights for more experience, get some help from other elite fighters, etc... In my forecast, if Rumble doesnt hold a title belt within the next 3-5 yrs I'm sure he will be a champion within 8 years. All you fans are not being realistic since you all want him to fight the Champ right out the gate!

Anonymous said...

fuck this shit he got hit like 4 times before that. he kept turning around to mazzagatti holding his eye and yelling and steve stood there with a dopey look on his face. after like the third poke DIRECTLY in a row he goes oh watch your hands. so that was a warning. then the guy hit the ground and said HE HIT MY EYE AGAIN AHHH. steve went over to see if he was alright and if he could continue. and when the guy said no and after all that comotion HE THEN made his decision. this guy always has bullshit excuses for fucking up royaly

Anonymous said...

He admitted he made a mistake and since AJ forgave him, we all should too.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think Big Jon would have missed that call? Why did he retire in the first place? He was respected by all the fighters and looked like a tough guy too. Lets get It On!

Anonymous said...

Anyone who owns up to a mistake like this ... you can't really be too mad at him. The anger should go out to the fighter that caused this whole mess to AJ's eyes. Get well AJ the fans love you and want to see more of you. Burns, you can rot in hell.

Jeff

Anonymous said...

I believe in an eye for an eye. Someone gouge out Burns's eye so he can experience the pain too.

Ric Flair said...

Whoooooooooooooooooo!!! My boy Kevin Burns is the MAN!

Anthony rumble Johnson , To Be the M an, U gots to beat the man!!!! And u didn't beat Burns!!

WHOOOOOOOOOO!

Who do u think taught Kevin how to do the eye pokes? WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Your boy Natch!!!
WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Ric Flair's buddy said...

ric flair is the shit! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh..no The Idiot Sherdoggers and the retarded fake ass wrestling posers made it on here too. What a shame. the no life scum bags are here.great.just great. im sorry ur boy kevin burns no longer has a mma career. U taught him the wrong move in the wrong sport

Anonymous said...

Vince McMahon is going to sign K Fed Burns to a contract once the UFC releases him.

Anonymous said...

The focus should be on Burns fixing his hand or no more fights and Rumble's eye. I rather have a broken hand than a mess up eye.

Anonymous said...

The NSAC decided NOT to reverse it. Kevin Burn u lucky SOB.