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12 Weird Facts About Point-Deductions in the UFC [MMA STATS]

The tireless researchers at have just released a chart detailing every referee point-deduction in UFC history, for fights that went to decision. It’s a surprisingly short list, but it reveals some very interesting facts. We’ve screen-capped the chart above; click it to enlarge, and visit the “History of Point Deductions” page on MMADecisions to learn more about each individual fight.

Now, what does this chart tell us? Well…

1. In over 11 years of UFC events since 2001, only 22 points have been deducted during fights that went to the judges.

2. None of those point-deductions happened in 2003-2005, for some reason.

3. Herb Dean is the leading point-docker on the list with five points total. John McCarthy, Mario Yamasaki, and Steve Mazzagatti all trail him with four apiece.

4. Kicks to the groin lead the list of most-frequently penalized infractions (five deducted points total), with illegal upkicks to a downed opponent coming in second place (four deducted points). Eye pokes show up only once on the list. Still no love for the balls of the face.

5. There are only two fights on the chart in which more than one point was deducted: Thales Leites vs. Nate Marquardt, and Edwin Figeroa vs. Alex Caceres. In both cases, the deductions were enough to give a loss to the fighter who was otherwise winning the fight.

6. The UFC employed its first point-deductions at UFC 33, on September 28th, 2001. On that night, Vladimir Matyushenko was docked a point for grabbing the cage during his unsuccessful light-heavyweight title challenge against Tito Ortiz, and Dave Menne was penalized a point for an illegal knee to the head of Gil Castillo during their fight for the vacant middleweight title.

7. Menne’s point-deduction happened in the fourth round of his fight against Castillo. It remains the only point that’s ever been deducted during the championship rounds of a five-round fight — which might suggest something about the referees’ unwillingness to influence the outcome of a match when so much is on the line.

8. Of all the fighters on the list, only TJ Grant has had points deducted in two separate fights. He was docked a point for an illegal upkick against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 100, and he was docked a point for a low blow against Johny Hendricks at UFC 113. Grant lost both fights, and would have lost them anyway even if the points hadn’t been deducted.

9. Of all the fighters on the list, only Caol Uno has been involved in two separate fights where his opponent had points deducted. He suffered an illegal upkick during his fight against Din Thomas at UFC 39, and the same thing happened to him during his UFC 106 fight against Fabricio Camoes. Uno won the decision against Thomas — and would have won it regardless of the point deduction — but his draw against Camoes would have been a loss for Uno if not for that penalty.

10. In addition to Uno vs. Camoes, three other fights have become draws thanks to point-deductions: Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans at UFC 73, Thiago Tavares vs. Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 20, and Travis Browne vs. Cheick Kongo at UFC 120.

11. Between Mike Swick’s penalty for grabbing the fence against Marcus Davis, and Nate Marquardt’s dual offenses for illegal knees and shots to the back of the head against Thales Leites, the legendarily cursed UFC 85 card holds the record for most penalties in a single event, among the fights on this list. (Once again, keep in mind that the list doesn’t include fights that ended in stoppages.)

12. There hasn’t been a single UFC fight in all of 2013 (as of May 7th) in which a point was deducted in a fight that went the distance. The last time a point was docked in a 15-minute fight was during Tim Elliott vs. Jared Papazian at the TUF 16 Finale in December. The refs aren’t lazy, they’re just busy working on other projects.

See anything else worth noting?

Cagepotato Comments

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Pen Fifteen- May 7, 2013 at 1:25 pm
What I'd love to see is some data on the ratio of points docked/DQs issued to warnings given. My guess is that refs issue actual foul calls not more than 10% of the time when they actually occur.
joelforsyth- May 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm
I think point deductions are bad because they are completely unpenalized if the offender can finish the fight. Take away purse percentage AND a point.
The12ozCurls- May 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm
I still think that if Tito DOESN'T grab the fence - he loses that fight against Rashad. By grabbing the fence, hence nullifying Suga's takedown and subsequent GNP, he lost a point but still ended up with an even 9-9 2nd round after the point deduction (because he stayed on his feet and won that round). If Rashad gets that takedown, he wins the 2nd round and ends up winning the 3rd as well and the fight 29-28 across the board. Tito's point deduction actually changed a would-be loss into a draw, so sometimes getting a point deducted is actually beneficial (I guess).
joelforsyth- May 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm
Maybe change, "win bonus" to "finish bonus"
bgoldstein- May 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm
@algiers: To the death, Georges. And I'm not joking about this.
algiersheadkick504- May 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm
Lets just take out decisions all together