Saturday's UFC 154 bout between Alessio Sakara and Patrick Cote ended in controversy as Sakara was disqualified by referee Dan Miragliotta for throwing illegal blows to the back of Cote's head. UFC president Dana White said Miragliotta did a "horrible job" because he allowed Cote to take too many hits and called the fight a DQ and not a no contest. However, Miragliotta told Yahoo! Sports on Saturday that the commission in Montreal told him the fight had to end in a disqualification, not a no contest.
"Even though most of your hand is hitting the back of the head, if your pinkie knuckle is hitting him in the ear, it's a legal shot," said Miragliotta. "Maybe that's what people don't understand. They said, 'Oh, it's the back of the head.' It is the back of the head, but it's hitting him in the ear.
But Sakara's manager denies that Miragliotta warned Sakara, as Miragliotta said he did. He also says he didn't see the blows to the back of the head. Luckily, we have the magic of photography to see.
This one, from Yahoo! Sports photographer Tracy Lee, shows Sakara's hand brushing Cote's ear.
This angle shows a clear blow to the back of the head, though. Shot from above the top of the cage, there is no impediment in showing where Sakara was hitting Cote. Sakara's camp is planning to appeal the ruling. Meanwhile, White already said a rematch between the two will happen.