(Brazilian boy can’t get no love? / Props: enlapelea.com)
Fabio Maldonado should have learned his lesson in his fight against Kyle Kingsbury last June — if the judges refuse to count body punches as “effective damage,” you might as well just start head-hunting and grunting and hope for the best. Once again, the Brazilian light-heavyweight put on a body-shot clinic in his bout against Igor Pokrajac at last night’s UFC event, and once again he wound up with a unanimous decision loss, with one judge inexplicably handing all three rounds to the Croatian. Many observers called this one a robbery, and you can understand why if you look a little closer at the striking totals. According to FightMetric…
- Round 1: Maldonado out-landed Pokrajac 36-6 in significant strikes, 47-16 overall.
- Round 2: Maldonado out-landed Pokrajac 26-13 in significant strikes, 60-18 overall.
- Round 3: Maldonado out-landed Pokrajac 36-17 in significant strikes, 59-30 overall.
- Overall: Maldonado’s success-rate for significant strikes was 72% (98 of 137), compared to 45% for Pokrajac (36 of 80). The final overall striking total was 166-64 in Maldonado’s favor.
Of course, some of Pokrajac’s shots ranked among the most effective of the match, and he did score a takedown in round 1, but was Pokrajac’s strike-quality really enough to overcome Maldonado’s overwhelming advantage in quantity? And are body-shots the new leg-kicks, in terms of MMA judges not giving them enough credit?
Sketchy decision aside, Maldonado vs. Pokrajac was a highly entertaining scrap that was a clear front-runner for UFC on FUEL 3‘s Fight of the Night award — until Zombie vs. Poirier came along and snatched the bonuses away at the buzzer. Tough break(s), Fabio…