Mir vs Lesnar Controversy

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A lot of controversy has risen since the Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar fight at UFC 81.  If you haven’t heard what happened and don’t want it spoiled for you, quit reading now.

I found the fight on YouTube but I don’t know how long it will stay up.  For now, here is a link to it:

Although I wanted Mir to win, if you watch the video at around 50 seconds in Steve Mazzagatti stands the fighters up.  This is because Lesnar hit Mir in the back of the head from half guard.  There is no denying that Lesnar hit Mir in the head (more than once) but Mir also turned away from the punches that Lesnar was throwing so he was somewhat responsible.  I’ve seen other instances where this has happened and the ref has warned a fighter and let the fight continue on the ground.  Mazzagatti gave no warning to Lesnar about the punches, stood the fighters up and deducted a point.  While it is possible that Mir could have recovered from half guard if Mazzagatti just warned Lesnar and let the fight continue from the ground, it is also possible that Lesnar would have been able to win from half guard with grounding and pounding, as he did in his other mixed martial arts fight.

This leads to a tricky situation in which there must be a balance between the fighter’s safety and the power of the referee.  While I disagree with Mazzagatti’s call, there are others who agree with.  Personally, I feel it would have been better to issue a warning to Lesnar and let the fight continue from the same position.  There have been other fights such as between Shamrock and Ortiz or Ortiz and Liddell where some felt that the ref stopped it to early.  The one argument I’ve heard is that they are fighters and should expect damage.  While this is true, there might be situations where a fighter is unable to tap or verbally submit and instead of serious damage occuring the ref should stop in.  Isn’t it more important for a fighter to be able to fight again then to risk serious injury?

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5 Responses to Mir vs Lesnar Controversy

  1. fouledout says:

    i saw th fight and yes, mir was hit in the head i think twice. but i think it was not right to deduct the point outright. letting the players stand on their feet is the ref’s call, but he shouldn’t have taken a point out of lesnar. cut him some slack, it’s his first fight in the UFC.

  2. PJ says:

    When i first saw that call i was like…WHOA, here comes a screwjob at the hands of Mazzagatti on Lesnar. I’ve never seen anything like that. Fighters get hit in the head INCIDENTALLY all the time. It’s a matter of intent. Brock Lesnar was clearly not intentionally hitting him in the back of the head as to cause more damage or to injure Frank Mir, it was an accident. It’s a fight these things happen. Of course the referee should step in. But deducting a point after an initial incidental blow to the back of the head? Completely ridiculous. It constitutes a warning and then if it happens again AT ALL, THEN deduct a point. Give the guy a chance. But luckily, controversy was avoided due to Lesnar’s inexperience and getting caught in that leg lock. Good for Mir. Seriously though, if Lesnar lost this fight to a decision, things would be ugly for Mazzagatti for the blown call in my opinion.

  3. fouledout says:

    @ pj
    yeah.. lesnar’s a rookie. and his excitement got the best of him, but it wasn’t actually his fault. mir was trying to avoid lesnar’s blows and he ducked and moved his head and unfortunately lesnar hit the back of his head. standing them up is acceptable, but deducting a point is a wrong call.

  4. Gav says:

    I have no allegence to either fighter and think they are both awesome for the UFC but I think Mir was Lucky and saved by the ref. Brock had a very good chance of punching him out from that position and if Mir’s best defence at the time was to turn his head away then surely he felt in some trouble himslef. Had Mir’s head been still, then the ref would have been justified but he was twisting and turn it at random angles and therefore I don’t think Brock can be to blame for where the punches land. I think Mir was took by surpise by Brock’s shoot (as he basically admitted himslef) and got a get out jail card. Good luck to both fighters in the future and don’t be shocked if Brock scores some big victories in the UFC

  5. fouledout says:

    @ gav
    couldn’t agree more.. if the ref didn’t interrupt the fight, mir would’ve been pounded to pieces..

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