Originally written on 5thRound.com  |  Last updated 1/21/13
Some say the mark of a good referee is if nobody remembers whether they were in the cage. Essentially, that means the athletes were allowed to shine and the ref quietly did their job in the shadows. Unfortunately for Dan Miragliotta (Pictured), his presence was known and felt this past Saturday at “UFC on FX 7.” Of the night’s 11 fights, Miragliotta was assigned to four of them. The veteran wasn’t at his best in three of the scraps, including the show’s main event. The evening got off to a rocky start for Miragliotta. In his first foray to the Octagon, he made an errant call that likely cost Yuri Alcantara his third UFC win. Alcantara took Pedro Nobre’s back in the opening round and was giving him the business. However, Miragliotta abruptly stopped the assault because he thought Alcantara was unleashing illegal shots to the back of the head. Nobre remained face down on the canvas while doctors examined him. Nobre ultimately claimed he was unable to continue and the fight was ruled a no contest. On replay, it didn’t appear that any of the strikes were illegal. Perhaps the elbow that did most of the damage, but that was before Miragliotta issued his only warning, and upon further examination, the elbow was completely clean. UFC president Dana White tweeted it was a “horrible call by Dan M” and awarded Alcantara with his win bonus. For a referee, there’s a fine line between erring on the side of caution and letting the action continue. If Miragliotta wants to look out for the fighters’ safety, that’s commendable, and quite frankly, his job. Although… When Miragliotta served as the third man inside the cage for the lightweight shootout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Thiago Tavares, he allowed Nurmagomedov to unleash over 10 unnecessary elbows to the Brazilian’s dome while he was clearly on Queer Street on the canvas. Miragliotta was far too slow to pull the trigger and once again caught the ire of White. “Ok that is officially the END of Dan M!!!! Guys head is straight up his ass 2 night!!!! 17 vicious strikes!!!! After he was already hurt,” an irked White tweeted. Perhaps his two previous blunders caused Miragliotta to lose some confidence in his game, because in the featured attraction with Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping he showed obvious hesitation in stopping Belfort’s assault. After dropping Bisping with a head kick, Belfort resumed his mauling on the mat. After unloading several bombs, Miragliotta put both of his hands on Belfort for a brief moment as if he was going to stop the onslaught, then stepped back and allowed it to continue. After several more strikes, he finally halted the attack. Some thought the stoppage was a tad premature. However, as White pointed out, “Trust me if it was an early stoppage Bisping would have been the first to say it.” But that wasn’t the issue here, it was Miragliotta’s blatant indecision. It is unknown whether Miragliotta will be working this weekend’s “UFC on FOX 7” fights in Chicago. If he is, Miragliotta better hope his mojo is back because any mistakes will be showcased on primetime television.
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