Representatives for Brock
Lesnar on Wednesday requested that the Nevada State Athletic
Commission remove Steve Mazzagatti from consideration as referee
for the upcoming five-round title fight between their client and
UFC heavyweight champion Randy
The anticipated bout, which pairs the hulking former World
Wrestling Entertainment superstar with the UFC hall of famer, will
headline UFC 91 on Nov. 15 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las
Citing Mazzagatti’s officiating in Lesnar’s UFC debut against
Mir in February, attorneys David Olsen and Brian Stegeman made
their aversion to the referee’s presence known at a regularly
scheduled NSAC meeting. The attorneys claimed Mazzagatti was
“involved in what we believe was a controversial ruling in
connection with the Mir-Lesnar fight.” They asked that Mazzagatti
be removed from consideration for the UFC 91 main event to avoid
“distraction” and “any further controversy.”
During the Lesnar-Mir match at UFC 81 -- a match Mir won by
first-round submission -- Mazzagatti deducted a point from Lesnar
for an illegal blow to the back of Mir’s head. Up to that point,
Lesnar had dominated the former UFC champion and appeared to be on
the verge of forcing a stoppage.
NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer commended Mazzagatti for his
work at UFC 81 and did not remove him from consideration.
“I think Mazzagatti did a great job that night,” Kizer said.
Along with Mazzagatti, Herb Dean, Josh
Rosenthal and Mario Yamasaki were under consideration to officiate
the Couture-Lesnar match. Yamasaki was ultimately awarded the bout,
which marks the 45-year-old Couture’s return to the cage for the
first time since he stopped Brazilian Gabriel
Gonzaga on strikes at UFC 74 in August 2007.
Correction: Sherdog.com initially reported that Kizer had
granted the attorneys’ wishes to remove Mazzagatti from
consideration, though Kizer later clarified the referee was still
considered for the bout.