Joe Rogan wholeheartedly defends the easiest guy to blame for UFC 210's biggest controversy 5 years ago

Joe Rogan wholeheartedly defends the easiest guy to blame for UFC 210's biggest controversy

Ok, there were a few controversies surrounding UFC 210, but when it came to fight night, one contentious finish dominated discussion.

The ending to the co-main event between Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman was just bizarre.

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After Mousasi cracked former champion Weidman to the dome with a couple of brutal knees, referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight and sent him to the other side of the Octagon for what he thought was an illegal knee on a downed opponent.

Weidman stayed down on the canvas thinking he had been fouled and received treatment from the doctors for several moments. Then Miragliotta looked at the replay, saw that the Mousasi had actually connected with legal knees while Weidman's hands were off the mat. He was left with no option but to award 'the Dreamcatcher' a rather unsatisfactory TKO victory.

The easiest man to blame for a dodgy referee decision is of course the man in the middle. Trainer Ray Longo came out afterwards saying the ref should 'stick to his fucking decision'.

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However, that's not who UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan is pointing the finger at, as he explained on Joey Diaz's podcast the Church of What's Happening Now

“First of all, he’s a giant. You have to understand, Dan Miragliotta is like, 6-foot-5, 300 pounds. He’s a huge man. He’s fucking huge. He towers over most of the fighters. So he’s above these guys, and if Mousasi is pinning down Weidman, so he’s got him in a headlock and he’s pulling him down and he’s kneeing him the face like he was, think of how tall Miragliotta is in the first place."

“Now think, he’s looking down at these guys kneeing each other in the head and he’s got to stay close by in case something happens. There’s no way he could see those hands from where he was standing. So he took an educated guess based on his many, many years of refereeing that both hands were down. And it was so close, you would have to be on the other side of the ring looking at the ground to know whether or not [the hands] were touching. If you’re above it the way Miragliotta was, how could he know? He really couldn’t know and it’s not his fault. He’s an excellent referee.”

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In Rogan's eyes, the blame can only fall on the athletic commission as he believes Weidman was fit enough to keep fighting. However, he's uncertain over what the protocol should be for restarting the fight in such an unusual scenario.

“Had there been a question about whether or not it was illegal, they could look at the instant replay and then they make the call. ‘The strikes are legal, we’re gonna continue.’ And you either continue them from the exact same position or you have a protocol in place, like you have to separate them, go back to their corners, and re-engage, which is bad for Mousasi because Mousasi had him in a good position and was landing strikes.

“It wasn’t Dan’s decision to stop the fight. It was the commission’s decision, I’m pretty sure and I think it’s because they didn’t know what else to do. They didn’t have a thing to do in place. It’s hard. It takes a while to figure out how to correctly referee and judge and officiate in a state athletic commission that hasn’t had mixed martial arts before and all of a sudden they have it. . . And then the commission, unfortunately, though the referees that were in place were really high level, there’s a commission that’s really not used to doing this. It’s not their fault, they just don’t have the experience.”