NSAC head Keith Kizer defends Steve Mazzagatti’s call to DQ Jon Jones, giving extra props to Nevada’s new instant replay system for showing the Mazz did ‘the right thing’:
Kizer said despite the numerous legal blows that came in the barrage – as many as 85 depending on who’s counting – the fact that the illegal blows were shown to have caused the damage meant disqualification was the only proper call.
“At the end of the day, you have the illegal elbows that cut [Hamill] up, and that’s why it was stopped,” Kizer told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “The only call you can make in that situation is a disqualification.
“Because there was definitely some damage done by lawful elbows, it was difficult to determine what caused what until he saw the instant replay. Then it was very easy. It would have been a tough call for him without the instant replay just due to the good strikes that preceded the illegal blows. That’s why we added it.”
I’m still in shock that the fight was allowed to continue to the point where Jon Jones threw the illegal elbows. True, once he threw those very illegal elbows, he opened himself up to getting disqualified fair and square. But it was only Mazzagatti’s insane refusal to stop the fight (the headline “Inspirational Deaf Fighter Dies in Octagon” flashed through my head while Jones was hammering Hamill’s face in for over a minute) which lead to this entire clusterfuck to begin with.
As for why Jones threw the dreaded ‘downward elbow’ (a move that’s only illegal when it comes down straight from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock – 3 to 9 or any other time is perfectly legal), he became a victim of his own flashy tendencies and said he was just trying to mix things up:
“I was hitting him so many times with so many legal blows, I was looking for more ways to get in and try to hit him more effectively,” Jones said. “I hit him – I don’t know. I hit him so many times, and they didn’t stop it. I just kept going, and it came instinctively to come down the middle.”
Opinions of Mazzagatti’s handling of the situation are bound to vary widely among MMA observers. While Jones refused to complain with any vigor, count the 22-year-old New Yorker in the camp of those who believe the bout should have been stopped well before the illegal shots were ever thrown.
“I’m not positive what the rules are,” Jones said. “But I think that 14 or 15 unanswered punches, it should be stopped. I said it in so many interviews, that I respect [Hamill] a lot for the inspiration that he is. It was awkward to keep hitting him like that.
“I was just hitting him so hard with legal shots, and I didn’t realize that it was an illegal shot that I was hitting him with toward the end. I was like, ‘Does this not work anymore?’ … I didn’t understand why it wasn’t getting stopped. I was like, ‘Is he waiting for me to gas or something? What is this?’ I looked at [Mazzagatti] twice like, ‘Why am I still hitting this guy?'”
As for Hamill, he wasn’t about to get up from that. The crazy ride to the mat Jon Jones took him on right before mounting and beating the shit out of him broke his left shoulder.