06-17-2009, 07:32 PM
I'm kind of a big deal
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
Al Turk Gets Another Shot in the UFC
Good for them. Cro Cop was going down on his 2 flat feet anyways.
I agree with the article, Mirgliotta has been stinking it up lately anyways.
UFC grants Mostapha Al Turk another shot; fighter's camp unhappy with Miragliotta
by John Morgan on Jun 17, 2009 at 10:00 am ET
Heavyweight Mostapha Al Turk's (6-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC) six-month run in the UFC hasn't gone exactly as planned.
After suffering a devastating loss to Cheick Kongo at UFC 92 in December 2008, Al Turk was defeated by Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic at this past Saturday's UFC 99 after an eye poke led to a finishing flurry from the Croatian striker.
Paul Ivens, Al Turk's instructor and co-founder of the heavyweight's London Shootfighters camp, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that the UFC has offered the English heavyweight another shot – but don't expect to see referee Dan Miragliotta in the cage next time.
"The UFC has said Mostapha will get another fight." Ivens said. "It's kind of one of those things that was confirmed, but we knew would probably happen beforehand as well, going into the fight on short notice and things like that. It's a tough fight the UFC gave us. Both of the fights have been tough so far."
Al Turk had been expected to face fellow prospect Todd Duffee on the evening's preliminary card until Filipovic was brought in on less-than-two-weeks' notice. Ivens said the combination of the short notice and unfortunate ending to the bout probably both contributed to Al Turk earning a third shot at his first UFC win.
"I think it's a bit of both," Ivens said. "I think beforehand we knew that they were going to look after him for taking the fight on short notice – and more-so afterward, as well. The fight was unfortunate."
Ivens and Al Turk had hoped to appeal to the UFC for a no-contest result, but the organization has stated there is nothing that can be done. The camp has come to terms with the organization's decision, but Ivens is having a more difficult time accepting the performance of referee Miragliotta.
And it's not the first time.
"To be honest, what I will say is that I'm not a fan of that referee in question at all," Ivens said. "I think he's made a lot of questionable calls – twice now against real high-profile fights for our fighters.
"He was the referee for James Thompson. I was there in James' corner for that fight, so that's kind of twice our guys have been screwed a little bit by him."
Ivens watched from cageside in Thompson's May 2008 bout with Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson. Miragliotta also oversaw that contest, a bout in which many felt the action was moved from the ground too quickly, Slice was given too much time while surviving an early around barrage from Thompson, and was ultimately stopped too soon after a third-round flurry from the former streetfighter had "Colossus" wobbled.
"I don't know if it's intentional, but I think [Miragliotta] has made a couple of big mistakes now," Ivens said. "I think he genuinely didn't notice [the eye poke], but that's his job. Him missing out on that for this fight and a previous fight – both in very high-profile fights for guys from my gym – is very annoying.
"And I think it was a similar situation with Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum. That was another questionable call. So I'm not personally a fan of his."
Miragliotta also oversaw a June 2008 contest between Werdum and Vera, a bout that "The Truth" contends to this day was stopped far too early.
While the UFC's cageside announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan didn't immediately notice the illegal strike in Saturday's live action, Ivens said he knew right away what happened when watching Al Turk's reaction.
"We knew [Al Turk] had got something in his eye," Ivens said. "The way he reacted – he held his eye and turned around. Your average guy on the street will probably take that reaction from getting punched in the face. But fighters train to get hit. They get used to that. But getting a finger into your eyeball is not something you can train for.
"It's not like eating an elbow or a punch or a kick. Fighters don't flinch and turn away from those sort of things."
Ivens said the damage to Al Turk's eye was significant, though a full recovery is expected.
"It wasn't just an eye-poke," Ivens said. "He had to go to the hospital for it. There was a slight tear at the base of the eye. His eye is completely bloodshot now, and he actually took fingertips in both eyes. If you see the replay, there's one on one side and one on the other side. Both eyes are bloodshot, one more than the other.
"They considered doing internal surgery on the eye. You say, 'Oh, it's an eye poke. How come he reacted that hard?' If anyone ever knows what an eye-poke is like, fingertips pushed into your eyeball, it can be pretty painful."
While Ivens and Al Turk are still understandably upset at Saturday night's events, the pair harbors no ill will toward the UFC. But with two-straight losses in the organization, Al Turk knows he must perform in his next trip to the octagon.
"It's nothing against the UFC," Ivens said. "I'm not happy with the ref on a personal level, but at the same time, the main thing is just having another shot, going back in there and getting another fight.
"[Al Turk] is obviously very disappointed in the fact that he lost the way that he did, but he doesn't want to blame anyone. He doesn't want to point fingers. He just wants another chance, that's all."
John Morgan is the lead staff reporter for MMAjunkie.com.