Danielle Curzon is the first woman to referee a professional, televised MMA match in the United Kingdom. Recently, Danielle applied for and received a license to referee MMA bouts in Indiana. Danielle, who practices MMA herself, sent the following update to me via email. "I made my decision earlier this year that I wanted to work in the USA to pursue my career--so, back in February, I went over to Nevada to see Kim Winslow [American female referee who has officiated many UFC fights], then on to Pasadena to do Herb Dean's [referee] course--which I passed."
Herb Dean is considered to be one of the best in the business. He received "Referee of the Year" 2010 and 2011 honors at the prestigious World MMA Awards ceremony. Herb has been the referee for over 5,000 MMA fights.
Danielle added, "Since then, I've gained my Indiana professional referee license from the state commission and completed my first assignment."
Danielle is licensed in Indiana
Looks like Danielle is on track to fulfilling her dream of having the opportunity to referee a UFC fight. UFC Nottingham (UFC on Fuel TV 5) takes place on September 29th in the UK. Danielle said that no one has requested her yet, but it could possibly happen. If not in 2012, then certainly at some point in the future, as Danielle gains more experience inside the cage.
Speaking of experience, Danielle has broken in her new Indiana officiating license by refereeing eight different matches at a regional event presented by Griggs Entertainment: Beatdown in VTown III on June 30, 2012 in Vincennes, Indiana Official Results
In order to officiate in other events around the US, Danielle would need to be licensed in each different state. With the UFC planning to expand to a variety of countries (including the recent announcement about holding events in China), Danielle might do well to focus her efforts on the European market rather than competing for refereeing gigs in the US. Whichever way she chooses to go, Danielle is on the right track towards building her bank of experience.
Learning from other people's great and not-so-great officiating experience
"I got my first assignment (from Don Clift from Kick International) to referee at a Griggs entertainment promotion. I was thrilled with this offer and instantly accepted. This is where my amazing sponsors--Intelligent Nutrition, Inc. and Spy Equipment UK--come into it. They paid for my flights out to the USA to make it possible. So, a huge thank you to them. When I got out there, I was met at the airport by the promoters, Josh and Mona Griggs. They are amazing people...my journey began into USA MMA."
Danielle said that she met Don Clift, Kick International Commissioner, at the weigh-ins. "He is an amazing person who took the time to go through everything with me and teach me about the efficient regulations out there which is the reason I chose to go out to the USA, as the sport is properly regulated. On fight day, I got to meet my fellow referee, Jeff Mallot. Wow, what an amazing guy he is too. He took the time to answer all my questions and was so supportive and offered his guidance. This is what I wanted--was to learn."
Referee Jeff Mallot took a lot of heat for allowing (way) too many unnecessary blows from Pat Curran on Joe Warren at Bellator 60 in March. Curran is the current Bellator featherweight champion. Seems like refs get more attention when they do something fans disagree with. source
Danielle Curzon, International MMA Referee
Danielle said, "The show had an amazing atmosphere and the moment I started my first fight, I became an international referee. I refereed eight fights. I've been invited back out to referee again in August for Kick International where, hopefully the world's best, Herb Dean will be my fellow referee. I would like to thank Don Clift, Lisa Clift, Josh and Mona Griggs."
Congratulations to Danielle for continuing to push forward to achieve her dream of being a referee for a UFC fight.
Source: all sources noted
More from this contributor:
Cheryl Ragsdale started out boxing and has added kicks and BJJ so she can practice MMA. Currently, she trains with Keith Florian and has trained with UFC Fighter Kenny Florian at Florian Martial Arts - follow @thatgirlisfunny
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