UFC President Dana White is unhappy with the decision, as he is a longtime critic of Mazzagatti.
"I could go off for 45 minutes on officiating over [in Nevada]. Steve Mazzagatti is the ref reffing the Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar superfight," White said. "What more can I do? Mazzagatti is reffing the superfight. What more needs to be said than that?... I can't do anything. As a promoter, I can't do anything. The fighters can. The fighters can say, ‘Oh my God.' They can say, ‘I don't want him,' and they gotta go in and give good cause on why they don't want him....I can tell you this, if I was a fighter, the last thing I would want to see when I got in the cage is Mazzagatti. That's the last thing I would want to see."
UFC 156 is slated for Feb. 2 in Las Vegas, Nev. No word yet from Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar on what they think about Mazzagatti getting the call to ref the fight.
As for Mazzagatti, he explained that he doesn't work for the UFC or for Dana White, so he just wants to see a good, clean, fair fight.
"We don’t make the rules. We enforce them," Mazzagatti said. "It’s not our job to make sure the fight goes the way the promoter wants it to go. It’s the fighter’s job. It’s their show. They’ve got to be the entertainer. I don’t make the fight what everyone expects it to be. If you want to make a 15-second standup rule, then come up with a 15-second standup rule and I will stand them up in 15 seconds. I can only go with what’s given to me. I don’t judge fighters by who they are and what they’re known for. I can’t even count how many fights I’ve done which all has gone fine, but sometimes things are going to go bad. It’s just like good fighters. Sometimes it goes bad and they get subbed or they get beat, and that’s the way it goes. Unfortunately, we’re in a high-profile position. We can’t see it all. You gotta understand, I don’t work for Dana and we [referees] don’t work for Dana. I feel I’m a public servant for the fans and the fighters. I want to make sure the fighters have a good, clean, fair fight that they trained for and expect."