FL Commission Explains Officiating Controversy
Posted on 13 Jun 2012
by MMAScoops.com Staff
Dana White mentioned during the UFC on FX 3 post-event press conference that "there was some bad judging here, and there was some even worse reffing."
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation – which oversees the Florida Boxing Commission – explained some of the decisions that went into the officiating, specifically what into the preliminary card fight between Dustin Pague and Jared Papazian. Referee Frank Gentile warned Papazian six times not to push off the cage with his feet while he was trying to defend against a rear-naked choke.
The Unified Rules of MMA state that a fighter cannot use his toes to "grab hold of the fence and start to control either their body position or their opponent's body position." But they can "place their feet onto the cage and have their toes go through the fencing material at any time." Since toes were not used to advance either fighter's position, there were no rules being broken. However, the official ordered both fighters to get their feet off the cage.
Dana White went on to say at the news conference: "How about the guy who's yelling at the fighters, saying, 'You can't touch the cage'? Like his body cannot touch the cage. What? There were others, too. It was bad. It was as bad as bad gets. I mean, when the ref is interfering with the fight – you're not even supposed to know the ref is there. But that wasn't the case tonight."
Sandi Poreda – the director of communications for the FDBPR – said, "In the specific situation with Papazian's feet on the cage, there was a miscommunication between the referee and the fighter. The referee was enforcing the rule that prohibits 'grabbing' the cage with one's toes. The officials discuss each event after the event has concluded. This issue was discussed, and the officials were encouraged to communicate clearly with fighters. Jared Papazian has not appealed the decision."
"The Commission conducts pre- and post-event briefs with the officials at each event. Updates to rules and any other pertinent information is discussed prior to events, and a full discussion of each event is held after the event concludes. This in-field training is used to ensure officials have the most current information and are constantly reviewing their work to increase professional development."