Dan Miragliotta was born and raised in New Jersey. This famous UFC referee judged more than 70 UFC events, including many title fights, and main events of the evening.
One thing is certain when Dan Miragliotta appears next to you, you don’t want to break the rules. This 6 foot 4 inches tall and 295 lbs heavy giant is featured by supreme strength, awesome reaction time, and tremendous size. He is one of the most authoritative referees.
Dan Miragliotta – Martial Arts Lover
Dan Miragliotta started training martial arts when he broke two vertebrae after a wakeboarding accident. An adrenaline lover by nature, he started Karate at the age of 14 to regain his motor and neural control. Today he is a black belt in Shito Ryu Karate and a 5th dan black belt in Kenpo Karate. Big Dan also trains Shootfighting and Muay Thai, and he also has a blue belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie. An impressive biography for a referee – he knows how to fight back!
Dan Miragliotta – Controversies
There are two big rules you need to respect – first, do not ignore Dan’s warnings, and second, protect yourself all the time, Big Dan is ten times faster than you would initially think! Since his debut at UFC 78 and the fight between Rashad Evans and Michael Bisping, he had many very interesting situations.
At UFC 85, Big Dan made a comical error when he raised the wrong hand and turned the winner into a loser! In the fight between Jess Liaudin and Paul Taylor, Dan showed Jess won the fight, despite Bruce Buffer announced otherwise!
At UFC 87, Dan Miragliotta accidentally poked Heath Herring in the eye before his fight with Brock Lesnar even started. Luckily, Herring was not injured seriously. But it was an epic move!
Dan Miragliotta pushed Akihiro Gono in the fight against Dan Hardy at UFC 89. Gono clearly ignored the bell and run towards Hardy trying to deliver a flying knee, but Big Dan taught him a lesson! Gono fell down and even looked hurt!
James Thompson and Kimbo Slice fought at Elite XC: Primetime. Kimbo was demolishing Thompson with a brutal combo of punches. Dan stopped the fight.
Many bloggers were attacking him that he fixed the fight, but Dan Miragliotta claimed he did this to protect James Thompson. He said that the punching combo rocked him hard. But it looked like Thompson could go forward and eat punches! Thompson even slapped Miragliotta when the fight was finished!
And now the famous UFC 112 match between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia. In the later rounds, Silva was dancing around the cage doing nothing. Looks like Big Dan really got angry. He told Spider that he doesn’t care if he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world but he has to fight or he will send him to Chinatown, forcing him to remember what he did to Kimbo Slice.
You could have seen Dan’s level of anger while he was lifting Silva’s hand in victory. Miragliotta didn’t even looked at him, and performed the movement with the speed of light – the Spider could be happy his left hand wasn’t ripped off!
Do you remember the sucker punch Paul Daley delivered to Josh Koscheck’s face at UFC 113? Dan Miragliotta grabbed his neck from behind and dragged him around the octagon like a training dummy!
And of course, the biggest controversy is seen in the fight between Joshua Emmett and Jeremy Stephens at UFC On Fox 28. Stephens delivered a very suspicious illegal knee, followed by two strong strikes to the back of Emmett’s head. Dan didn’t stop the fight and didn’t even warn Stephens for obvious illegal strikes.
Emmett was even claiming that he plans to appeal the loss. Looks like other professionals mostly claimed elbows were legal while the knee was a heavily prohibited move.
Dan Miragliotta – Great Moments And Calls
If you take a look at the fight between Fabricio Werdum and Brandon Vera at UFC 85, you will notice that Werdum was hammering Vera hard. Vera did nothing for almost 30 seconds – great call by Miragliotta, he protected the fighter like a pro!
Dan Miragliotta was mostly attacked due to the controversial stoppage of the fight between Johny Hendricks and Amir Sadollah at UFC 101. He claimed that he has the duty to protect the fighter and Sadollah was glassy-eyed at the moment of stoppage, asking him what happened.
John Salter and Jason MacDonald faced at UFC 113 preliminary fights. MacDonald accidentally broke his foot during a takedown attempt and Salter started celebrating like he has put Khabib Nurmagomedov to sleep! Dan is a very big professional, and he stopped Salter’s celebration, with the words “Cut that shit out Salter or I’ll break your legs with my bare hands”. Fair-play is in the first place, great decision!
Dan Miragliotta is the real emperor inside the octagon. He knows to be perfectly calm and look, react like a lightning when required, and even decrease tension between fighters. You can be sure that the fighters will have to think twice before they decide to challenge Dan.
His style of judging can be described as extremely dedicated and focused. Big Dan is always few feet away, tries to look for the best angle, and ready to adjust to the situation in the split of a second. When the fight is taken to the ground, he is ready to kneel, talk to fighters, and even lay on the ground to see whether somebody has the courage to try some dirty move.
UFC definitively needs more people like Dan Miragliotta. You will hardly find a man with such level of authority, fun movements, and readiness to get dangerously close and even hurt a fighter when rules are endangered.