Dan Miragliotta is being criticized by more than a few folks for how he officiated Stefan Struve’s  loss to Ben Rothwell at UFC DC. But, the “Skyscraper” is calling on fans and critics to give the veteran ref a break.
Struve defends Miragliotta
Struve battled Rothwell on the main card of Saturday’s event, and the massive heavyweight appeared to be en route to victory, before he was taken out by Rothwell late into round two. The fight saw Rothwell hit Struve with two low blows during the bout. The first one took place in round one, and it had Struve down for sometime. Struve took another one in round two, and Rothwell was deducted a point.
But, after the second low blow, Miragliotta could be heard telling Struve that he was likely ahead on the scorecards and that if chose not to continue the fight would be declared a no-contest. Since referee’s are supposed to be impartial and not advise fighters, Miragliotta has been taking some heat for what he said.
“I think he was just trying to help me by giving me the information that he had on what was going to happen if I stopped,” Struve explained. “I don’t think it would’ve changed anything for what I did. He’s a good dude, man. Dan is a really good dude; I like him a lot. He’s reffed a lot of my fights, he’s a good guy and I really think he only tried to help.
“Like there is no win for him if I continue or stop the fight, there’s nothing that benefits him. He’s just trying to do his job. He knows me for a long, long time, for over 10 years. So people need to get off his back and let him be. Refereeing in MMA is so hard, you need to make split-second decisions. And these kinds of things, like how many times do these things happen? Like how do you deal under pressure with a fighter who was just fouled two times? It’s so tough.”
Miragliotta will likely appreciated Struve’s support here very much, and there’s no question that officiating a MMA fight is an extremely difficult job. But, chances are his comments won’t persuade the ref’s harshest critics either.
But what if Struve had won?
If Struve had won, however, would Miragliotta be receiving as much criticism? While discussing that angle, Struve said this:
“They would’ve praised him, but that’s life, that’s what people like to do – they like to talk (expletive),” Struve said. “It doesn’t matter what you do, you can never do right to everybody. So no, man, I thank him, no animosity…”
Yup. There likely would still be some folks criticizing the veteran ref, but probably not nearly as many. Now it will be interesting to see what comes next for Struve, who has lost four of his last five fights.