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Referee Explains Patrick Cote-Alessio Sakara Decision

Dan Miragliotta served as the referee Saturday night for a middleweight contest between Patrick Cote and Alessio Sakara at UFC 154: St-Pierre vs. Condit. Typically, that would not be news, but thanks to the interesting decision made, it is.

Sakara stuffed a Cote takedown and proceeded to finish “The Predator” with several strikes. However, the majority of the strikes went to the back of Cote’s head, and Miragliotta gave the former No. 1 contender a disqualification victory.

There seemed to be plenty of controversy surrounding the decision, as it appeared Miragliotta made no effort to stop Sakara. However, the long-time ref told that he made two verbal warnings to Sakara before a third strike ended the fight.

“As long as hand makes contact with the ear, it’s a legal strike,” Miragliotta said. “If you miss the ear and only hit the back of the head, it’s illegal.”

Sakara’s team has stated they plan to appeal the decision, and even UFC president Dana White has mentioned placing the two fighters in a rematch.