Don’t Mess With UFC Referee Big Dan Miragliotta

UFC fighters are given two cardinal rules when they enter the UFC’s octagon. The first is, ‘protect yourself at all times’. The second and most important is, ‘don’t mess with ‘Big’ Dan Miragliotta.

Paul Daley clearly forgot that rule when he threw a sucker punch at Josh Koscheck after the bell at UFC 113 and suffered the consequences as the 6ft 4″, 295lb referee grabbed him by the neck and rag-dolled him around the octagon.

Now admittedly the punishment in that instance fit the crime, but don’t start thinking just because you’ve committed a minor misdemeanor that your going to be treated any differently.

Fair warning – If Big Dan tells you to stop the fight you’d better damn well do it right there and then son, or you’ll end up getting steamrollered into next week like Akihiro Gono at UFC 89.

It’s not just the little guys that Big Dan is laying down the law to either. Renowned backyard brawler or not, if Kimbo Slice doesn’t let go when he’s told to then by god he’d better be prepared to experience The Wrath Of Dan.

Despite his size he can be more subtle about dishing out punishment though. Watch in the clip below as he let’s Heath Herring know who’s boss prior to his bout with Brock Lesnar by “accidentally” jabbing him in the eye. He’s a crafty one, make no mistake.

Thankfully most fighters know not to step out of line when Miragliotta’s around or else we’d quickly end up with another injury crisis and potentially the first ever fatality in the octagon. Instead usually all it takes is a quiet word from Dan to put the kybosh on any untoward antics.

Take John Salter’s out-of-character buffoonery in the prelims at UFC 113 for instance. After Jason MacDonald broke his leg accidentally during a takedown attempt, Salter started celebrating like he’d just knocked out Muhammad Ali in his prime with a stiff jab.

Totally uncalled for under the circumstances, and being the professional that he is Big Dan recognized it and put an end to his shenanagins ASAP simply by having a quick word in his shell-like. I’m no lip reader so don’t quote me on this, but after careful analysis of the clip below I believe that what he says here is, “cut that sh!t out Salter or I’ll break your legs with my bare hands.”

That’s it Dan, you tell ’em.

That’s the thing about Dan – he’s not afraid to speak his mind, and he’ll even call out the biggest stars in the sport if they step out of line.

At UFC 112 Anderson Silva spent the closing rounds of his fight with Demain Maia in cruise control, preferring to dance around the cage rather than actually fight. Like most people watching Big Dan didn’t take too kindly to that approach, and so he decided to call a halt to the fight to let him know. Again I’ve went to the trouble of translating what he said, word for word to the middleweight champion.

“There’ll be none of that Kalib Starnes sh!t here Silva – not on my watch! Pound-for-pound fighter on the planet or not, if you don’t get your act together I’ll take you down to Chinatown. Did you see what I did to Kimbo Slice? That could be you next.”

At the conclusion of the fight Dan’s disgust at his antics was clear for all to see. In the clip below it looks like Big Dan is raising Silva’s hand in victory, but in actual fact he’s just letting everybody know which limb he’s going to rip off if he tries anything like that again in the future.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
So there you have it. Big Dan Miragliotta, not just a referee – he’s the UFC’s very own judge, jury and executioner. Don’t mess!

Further Reading:

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.