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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Both Paul Daley and Josh Koscheck have spoken out this week about Daley's sucker punch at UFC 113 in Montreal, but there was a third man in the cage that was in the middle of what went down as well, referee Dan Miragliotta.
Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Miragliotta commented on the fight and both Daley's sucker punch as well as the illegal knee thrown in the first round and Koscheck's subsequent acting job.
"I was shocked," Miragliotta said. "I thought [Daley] was going to hug him. I thought it was over with. You've seen it before where guys hated each other, spoken poorly about each other, but when the fight is over, they still get up and give each other a hug and it's over with."
"Because of the trash talk, I was trying to be on my toes during the touching of the gloves and after the final bell. I tried to stay close to him. When Daley reached for him, I thought he was going to hug him. I was wrong. He caught me off-guard."
Miragliotta immediately reprimanded Daley following the sucker punch, and Miragliotta ran down the exchange from the cage.
"I said, 'What are you doing? You're a pro fighter. What are you thinking?' He didn't answer me, so I said it again. I was restraining him. He said, 'I didn't hear the bell.' That was it. That's all he said. Everybody else heard the bell."
The longtime referee delved into the knee thrown by Daley in the first, and Koscheck's reaction to it.
"There was definitely confusion there because I never took a point away," said Miragliotta. "I thought the knee missed him at first. But when Josh reacted the way he did, I thought, 'I guess I missed it.' We're not perfect, we're human. But I really thought it missed him. So Josh looked at me, held his head and said, 'The knee, the knee.'
"I really didn't think it hit him. His head didn't move. When you get hit with a knee, your head's going to go back. His head didn't budge. When I saw the replay, I told the doctor to please leave the ring, I told Josh to get up, and I said there was no contact and no point was taken away. Between rounds Joe Rogan asked Mike Goldberg to clarify it with me, and I told him there was never a point deduction. Then they cleared it up on the air."
Penick's Analysis: It was an awful, shocking and unnecessary incident that took place last Saturday, but it's good to hear Miragliotta's take on what happened in front of him here. He's right that most of the time, even with bad blood, fighters will go up to one another and bury the hatchet in the cage, and he really had no reason to believe Daley was going to do anything but that. It's good to get his take on the knee as well, as he was the one that needed to make the call then and there. Miragliotta gets a lot of heat from fans and writers on the internet, but in this case he handled both the knee and the sucker punch as best he could.
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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