(No really, if you squint you might think he is *is* Dana White. Pic: ProMMANow)
In general, we feel like the following situation happens a lot in MMA circles: A guy will do something kind of shitty or controversial – thereby causing a minor internet eruption – and then in his effort to “explain” or “clear the air” or “apologize” he comes out with a bunch of statements that actually make the initial infraction seem much worse. Such is the case with MMA judge Chuck Wolfe, who this week tried to clarify to MMA Fighting the inexplicable 30-27 win he awarded Joe Warren over Marcos Galvao last weekend at Bellator 41. In doing so, Wolfe actually made a string of comments we found far stranger than the decision itself.
The veteran judge’s defense of how he scored the bout essentially proceeded along three tracks: One, he knows more about this than you do. Two, that MMA judges have to score the fight for somebody, right? And three, the fighters shouldn’t have left it in the hands of the judges. All pretty scary stuff, once you really start to think about it. All told, it just kind of makes you want to politely nudge Wolfe and say, “Chuck. Just, you know, shut up.” After the jump, you’ll find the quotes themselves. Be prepared to get mad.
“(Galvao) had three rounds to take Warren out if he really wanted to beat him — he had three rounds to dominate Warren, as well as Warren had three rounds to dominate him,” Wolfe told Michael David Smith. “It’s up to the fighter. … Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges, especially when it’s a close fight.”
OK, wait just a goddamned second. So now a *judge* himself is breaking off “don’t leave it in the hands of the judges” clichés? Isn’t that something people normally say (usually accompanied with a bemused shrug) as an admission that MMA judging is pretty bad and that nobody knows exactly what they’re doing? Wolfe admitting that fighters shouldn’t really let him decide the outcome is kind of like a restaurant giving one of its diners food poisoning and then being like, “Well, you really shouldn’t have ordered the fish.”
Most of the controversy surrounding Wolfe’s cards – the decision itself had some people mumbling about a “fix” — stems from his choice to give Warren a second round that seemed clearly won by Galvao. To this (aside from insinuating the fighters should have tried harder) Wolfe simply said he thought each round of the fight was “very close.”
“I remember the bout very clearly,” Wolfe said. So … uh, that’s good … we guess. But then he throws in this: “When they are close rounds there’s one thing or maybe two things that might put someone ahead … You can grade it 10-10 but you might as well not be there if you’re not going to score someone to win the round.”
Dude, WHAT?!?! NO. If you think a round is a draw it’s YOUR JOB to score it a draw. That’s actually what you are there for. We’ll leave you with perhaps Wolfe’s most aggravating quote, during which he reaffirms his position of Infinite Smartness and then puts an exclamation point on things with a sentence so terrible and maddening that we sincerely hope you do not punch a fist through your monitor after reading it. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
“I’ve judged and refereed since the beginning of the sport, I’ve been head official for over 600 different bouts,” Wolfe said. “If you want to question my credentials, I think I have way more than anyone out there to be qualified to judge. I know fans get disappointed, but I don’t think you’re going to have Joe Warren fans complain about how the decision went.”