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Judge Who Scored It 50-45 for Frankie Edgar Confirms That He Is Indeed Insane

("Let’s have a good, clean fight, protect yourself at all times, and don’t leave it in the hands of the judges. Trust me on that one." Photo courtesy of

Yes, the lightweight title fight between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 was close through all five rounds, and we’re not going to launch into the corny argument that a challenger should have to definitively "beat the champ" to earn a decision victory. But when the judges’ scores came back for that fight, we were a little shocked by the 50-45 tally that Douglas Crosby turned in for Frankie, especially since Penn pretty clearly took the first round, probably deserved rounds two and three, and the only round that was obviously Edgar’s was the fifth.

Responding to the uproar from Penn fans, Crosby created a thread on the UG — humbly titled "The JUDGING GENIUS returns from the Middle East" — to explain his interpretation of the fight. Well, not so much explain as rant incoherently and endlessly, making the forum posters increasingly furious. Crosby’s manifesto, compiled by FightOpinion, is after the jump; please note that these words were produced by an actual professional MMA judge chosen by the UFC. Read on if you dare…

"So….Just returned from Abu Dhabi, and I haven’t been in my duplex more than 20 minutes, when the Doorman calls me on the intercom in a state of panic…Seems there are hundreds of moaning, howling ghouls in “RVCA” and “Prodigy/Hilo Boy” T-shirts surrounding the building like extras from “Zombieland”…And they’re chanting “50/45!” over and over, and trying to push their way into the lobby…..Which gives me a little time to talk to you, my dear friends. [Ed. note: I'm not your friend, buddy.]

So I’m wondering…..Should I tell you how I scored Penn/Edgar, and why, right now, up front? But that seems kinda like the Pope or the King back in the day, just writing down what he wants to say, and having one of his burly churls nail it to the door of the church for everyone to read…It seems a bit…distant, a bit ‘above it all’, don’tcha think? Because God knows I have plenty to say and no shortage of burly churls; no dearth of hulking familiars to do my bidding have I… [Ed. note: Something tells me that Douglas's high school creative writing teacher hated his guts.]

Perhaps just announcing my presence is enough for now. Perhaps simply allowing some of you, my faithful friends and fellow MMA devotees, to say what YOU want to say is more….Democratic; more…..Enlightened. A behaviour more consistent with a Progressive such as myself. After all, isn’t that my job? Isn’t it incumbent upon me, as a Judge, to make myself available for your criticism? If I take the plane ride, and get to the venue, and score the fights, I have a kind of….Contract with the fans; a contract that specifically allows you to criticize me. And I will be glad to defend the terms of that agreement, even if it means I have to take the weight sometimes.

I knew this was coming as I scored the fight. I knew the inescapable inevitability of criticism was waiting back here. I saw the ride; and I bought a ticket. So what I’m thinking is…… why deny you guys? You earned the right to say what you think by buying the PPV. Don’t I owe you a little time to say everything you want to say? Isn’t that a better way to continue to build a bridge to the fans? By giving them their say? Isn’t that what I owe you?

Shakespeare wrote [Ed. note: Oh, Jesus Christ.]


And we all HAVE my scores…..But what do we….OWE??? So allow me to cast up my accounts with you as equitably as possible, won’t you?

Interestingly, I’ve been slightly taken aback by the response my score for the Penn/Edgar fight has engendered…but not in the way (some of) you guys have responded….I kind of expected that. What’s been surprising is how many people, at the event, in the hotel, at the airport, fighters, production staff, etc., have told me how glad they were that I scored the FIGHT, and not the FIGHTERS. Are you guys with me on that, even just a little? Can you understand what I mean by that?

May I also mention that I forgive you? [Ed. note: *steam shoots out of ears*]

For your anger, your insults, and your crassness? NOT all of you….You know who you are. Yes; YOU: Over there, with the purple Nikes on, waiting for the spaceship in the tail of comet to come take you to a world where everyone agrees with you….and YOU over there…the one who thinks his heroes never lose…

So yes, I forgive you. I started this thread knowing that a percentage of you would behave the way you have. I knew you would when I scored the fight as well. I forgave you then. And even as I forgave you, I prepared myself to defend your right to criticize me, and make myself available for that criticism. Isn’t that something I kind of…started out by saying? As fans, I owe you that. Remember me saying that….Pages ago? That you have the right to criticize me? Wasn’t I the person who brought that up? Wasn’t I the person who gave you the opportunity to be heard? By the person you are angry with?

Should I even mention that most of the virulent criticisms aren’t even consistent with each other? Or is that ‘condescending’? Which is to say…..are the things you’ve written in these last 7 pages available for criticism as well? Or does suggesting that constitute a similar heresy to my scoring in Penn/Edgar?

The reason last question is because I have to make bit of a decision…..Like I said pages ago; do I just lay out why I scored Penn/Edgar the way i did, and leave it at that? [Ed. note: Would that really be too much to ask?] Or do I entertain a….dialogue with you (yes, YOU)? Do I go post-by-post and address your issues, both the rational and the ridiculous, for the sake of a democratic dialogue? Do I pick and choose among the posts for the ones (dissenting or otherwise) I feel are worthy of explanation, refutation, argument? Do I respond to ridicule with ridicule? Viciousness with viciousness? Do I pay each and every one of you with your own currency? Or do I just say what I think as far as that fight, and move on?

I posed that question pages ago. What direction would any of you be inclining towards, were you me? I wonder. 

I just took a few moments to go back to the beginning of this thread and re-read everything I said, and the responses it engendered. I recommend it to all of you. My intellectual mentor, Dr. Jacques Vallee’, years ago told me “Seek out your enemies, Douglas, and listen to what they have to say. Than go think for awhile.” [Ed. note: "...but before you do, make sure to write ten pages of pretentious drivel on an Internet message board."]

Reading over what’s been said, in both tone and content, has been enlightening. All of that being said….I’ve mentioned numerous times on other threads that the scoring criteria exist for a reason, just like the 10-point “must” system exists for a reason; and that the scoring criteria are guidelines within which Judges arrive at a decision on a round-by-round basis. It is a Judge’s obligation to interpret the fight and use the criteria as guidelines. But a fight is an observed event that does require interpretation, observation, wisdom.

And, in my considered opinion, Edgar dictated the tone of the fight, successfully implemented and executed a strategy, landed better strikes, and basically outworked Penn. And that is an interpretation by a ringside observer with an understanding and appreciation of MMA, who has Judged numerous (hundreds) of fights. I re-watched the fight in my hotel in Abu Dhabi and saw nothing that would influence me to score it any differently.

I support and encourage your right to criticize my scoring. And I forgive you for your attacks of both a professional, and, regrettably, personal nature.

From commenter Mortality – “50-45 does not mean a fight was lopsided. Every round could have been razor thin but still had the same winner. Some of you don’t seem to understand scoring at all.” I just printed this out and dropped it out my window. The RVCA/HILO BOY Zombies read it and they all just walked into the sea. Thanks! DC/NYC

Some discussion questions for your MMA study groups…

– Do MMA judges owe fans explanations for unpopular decisions? Is it in some way unprofessional to respond directly to them in a public forum?

– Has any part of Crosby’s essay convinced you that 50-45 was the "correct" scoring of the fight?

– If there are "heels" in fighting (Lesnar, Sonnen, et al.), can there be heels in judging as well?

– Specifically, what do you think Crosby was high on when he wrote this: Adderall, cocaine, or red wine?

Cagepotato Comments

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Serj- April 6, 2012 at 2:38 am
Well, it was a close fight, in all reality 50-45 isn't too out of this world... 5th was pretty brutal for Penn
Serj- April 6, 2012 at 2:36 am
Well Penn should have obviously had this fight! This dude is on Human Growth Hormones
Serj- April 6, 2012 at 2:34 am
Wow! This dude is certainly weird!
male enhancement- April 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm
Frankie, especially since Penn pretty clearly took the first round, probably deserved rounds two and three, and the only round that was obviously Edgar’s was the fifth. male enhancement
male enhancement- April 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm
FYI Dana has no say in the Judges selection process. in case you didn’t know, the sport of mma is run by athletic commissions. And these commissions select the judges. This is not the wwe. They are all appointed directly from the commission. how to get edu backlinks
male enhancement- April 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm
I knew this was coming as I scored the fight. I knew the inescapable inevitability of criticism was waiting back here. I saw the ride; and I bought a ticket. So what I’m thinking is…… why deny you guys? You earned the right to say what you think by buying the PPV. <a href="">male enhancement</a>
Komodo- April 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm
That gave me a headache.
Than- April 12, 2010 at 7:19 pm
he was high on his own sense of self worth, what a bunch of drivel (Idk if I ever used that word before, but it couldn't be more appropriate).
RwilsonR- April 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm

You make good point all around. I absolutely agree with you that someone could legitimately see that fight 50-45 for Edgar, 49-46 for Edgar, or 49-46 for Penn. Like I said, all the rounds were very close, with the fifth being the most obvious to me. I wouldn't even argue with someone who saw it as a razor-close victory for Penn. I would disagree, but it was close enough that it should be a matter of opinion that both sides could intelligently support, and would never question that person's knowledge of the sport.

What I don't get is all of the Penn fans that act as though this is the biggest robbery in judging history. It was close - Penn fans need to at least admit that, or I won't take them seriously. And the only person whose knowledge I did question was Howie214, because his post was fucking stupid.
robthom- April 12, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Wow, that dude sure is a prick isn't he.

The ed.notes are the only thing that made that worth reading.

They should have let him loose on silva instead.

I can only picture the best application for his delusional judging skills is to award silva fights unanimously for his opponents.
tnbp- April 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm
Howie214 said:

after reading that rant, it is painfully obvious that that "shit-for-brains" judge knows absolutely nothing about martial arts! for one, penn was never hurt! how can the score be that lop-sided (50/45) when the champion was never hurt? i always thought you had to convincingly "beat" the champion to take the belt??? that did not happen! the judge is a douche bag, bottom line! i blame dana white ultimately!!! he should select competent judges with martial arts backgrounds(trainers, ex-fighters, etc.). that moron judge has obviously never stepped foot in an octogon or on a mat!

See, this type of post makes me lose my mind. Howie214 says that the judge is a "shit for brains" who knows nothing about martial arts. But Howie says things in his post that make it obvious that Howie has NO IDEA, himself, about MMA scoring or judging:

1) A lopsided score doesn't mean domination. It just means that one fighter consistently won rounds in the judge's eyes. It has nothing to do with either fighter being hurt, either (though that can sway the score of a single round, of course.) Assuming the winner of any round gets 10 points and the loser of the round gets 9 for this example, if Edgar won the first round in a close fashion in this judge's eyes, the cumulative score would be 10-9. If he won the second round, as well, the score would be 20-18. If he also won the third round, it's now up to 30-27. And so on. Now if Edgar had won a competitive round in a very clear fashion, the cumulative score would still be 10-9 after one. And also so on and so on. So the score being lopsided doesn't necessarily have ANYTHING to do with cumulative damage over the fight, or one fighter having a more dominant round followed by a more passive round. It just means that one fighter won more rounds than the other. In this case, this judge felt that Edgar won every round, albeit by a slim margin. I'm not a fighter in real life. I've never been in an octogon. But at least I understand the rules of scoring. Being a fighter isn't necessarily a pre-requisite for that, it turns out.
2) Dana White has absolutely nothing to do with the choosing of judges. Athletic Commissions do that (as well as selecting the referees.) Being a fighter isn't necessarily a pre-requisite for understanding that, either, it turns out.
tnbp- April 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm
RwilsonR said:

For the record, I think his decision is perfectly legitimate. Round 1, a lot of people remember as clearly being for Penn, because BJ took control in second half of it. But don't forget that Edgar battered both of BJ's eyes with nice clean shots at the beginning of RD 1.

Rounds 2-4 were very close, and I think it was obvious that RD 5 was Edgar's. While everyone is getting all over Edgar saying he simply "looked" more active, and that swayed the decision, I think they are also missing a key point that a lot of BJ's punches that "looked" like they landed were nothing but glancing blows because of Edgar's superior movement. And many of Edgar's shots that landed clean "looked" as if they didn't do much because of BJ's ability to absorb punishment without dramatic movement from his head. But punch for punch, Edgar was landing more of his combinations for longer.

I actually had the fight 49-46 for Edgar, giving BJ the first round, but I remember thinking that several of the rounds, including the first, were incredibly close. I think that the judge's best point in his long-winded crapfest is that simply because you score a fight 50-45 doesn't mean you thought it was a blowout. Each round could be incredibly close, but they tally your score card after the individual round so you can't make an overall score change at the end. Also, a 48-47 score doesn't always mean it was a razor-thin fight, since two of the rounds might have been incredibly close, and then three others could be a blowout.

I'm with you, RwilsonR. I think this judge's decision is legit and I also think his long-winded post was unnecessary. This is the same, age-old argument that people never seem to fully grasp no matter how many times it comes up: Judging is subjective. I can totally see how a judge saw it 50-45. I can see how you saw it 49-46. I could also see how someone could see it 46-49 in favor of Penn, I suppose, if they saw something I didn't see. That doesn't mean that I don't know dick about MMA. It doesn't mean that this judge is a crackpot. It's a close fight. People see and value things differently in close fights. That's why fighters should never let it go to the cards. The cards happened to go for Edgar, here. They might have gone for Penn, instead. Neither fighter should have been real content with that, in my opinion.
Durden- April 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm
I fucking lost all faith in judges now, who are these retards?
I had no doubt in my mind that Penn won that fight and I still believe he did, sure he probably had his worst showing in quite some time but no way did Frank do enough to win..

Plus this shit for brains judge really had me riled up before he posted this turd from hell, I guess I seem as unprofessional as him by writing this but fuck me that asshole deserves to be kicked in the nads and from his job and sentenced to a lifetime of scrubbing fuckin McDonalds bathrooms
tmanifold- April 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm
@ MMAINMYBLOOD I agree that BJ shucked off some of his TD efforts but what Edgar did differently was give up on the TDs as soon as it was apparent BJ had defended them.

So you only give Frankie the work rate, what about damage? One of the penn nut huggers biggest complaints during Penn/GSP 1 was that BJ looked fine and GSP was all marked up. BJ was bleeding around both eyes and frankie looked fine.

If you look at the scoring system in place, Frankie had more effective aggression, he had takedowns (which is huge against Penn), he attacked in combinations to Penn's 1 or 2.

I gave Penn the 1st round by a hair and then the middle 3 were uber close with a feeling that Edgar had pulled them out and the 5th was clearly Edgar's 50-45 is not outside the realm of possiblity and a 50-45 fight can be closer than 48-47 fight if all the rounds are close.
Defenestrator- April 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm
This is the scene that played out in my mind. Steve Mazzagatti is in the center of the cage, Cecil Peoples to his right and Crosby to his left. Bruce Buffer is about to read the official decision:

Buffer: Ladies and Gentlemen we have just seen two Horrible judges duel it out in a battle of mediocrity that can only happen inside the octagon. All three judges score this contest 50-45 for the winner...AND NEW...CECIL PEOPLES JUDGING CHAMPION OF THE WORLD...Douglas "The Dingbat" Crosby!

Rogan: All right, I'm here with the winner Douglas "The Dingbat" Crosby, what are your thoughts on the outcome!

Crosby: Well Joe, I knew that I had to come big or go home. The honour that hath been placed upon me is tantamount to a siren's song, because God knows I have plenty to say and no shortage of burly churls; no dearth of hulking familiars to do my bidding have I. I doth not thinketh I could outdoeth the great Cecil Peoples but my gratitude to a combination of Acid, Weed, and Machida's Urine ensured that I could has victory!

Rogan: Thanks Crosby, now lets here from the dethroned champ. Cecil, what are your thoughts.

Peoples: Well if I was judging our contest I think I would've given it to Machida.

Rogan: Well there you have it ladies and gentlemen! Douglas Crosby is your NEW CHAMPION! (The mic cuts out and Joe turns to Crosby) I want whatever you've been taking.
MMAINMYBLOOD- April 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm
@RwilsonR i see so what you are saying its a feint? I can see that, but I would also like to see him follow up with something or commit to the take down. In My eyes its as useful as Machidas little feint he pulls off its really useless and doesn't score but it keeps people off balance and they don't know if he is going to kick or punch so he is able to score with it. In Frankies case he attempted take downs Im sure he didn't commit to all of them but Bj Shucked him off on many occasions and the ones he may not have committed to he didn't follow up with anything when you drop to your knees and don't get the take down that's not to keep them guessing that's oh shit I aint getting this one. I mean yeah Bj may have been guessing but he wasn't fooled. The ONLY category I give Edgar is the work rate. Other than that nothing else. He basically Clay Guida-ed BJ on Saturday.
Nealio- April 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm
CagePotato, I loathe you for your spreading of this man's word. This void of logic, this vast collection of drivel. May the ravens peck out your eyes..
RwilsonR- April 12, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I'm sure mmmiles9000 has his own opinion about it, but I thought most of Edgar's takedown attempts weren't followed through with because he wasn't necessarily going for the takedown, but wanted to keep BJ guessing. That goes to controlling the fight. You didn't see a lot of Edgar going for the takedown, forcing it, and pressing BJ up against the fence while Penn defended it. Instead, he went for the motion of it, and then backed away into striking, simply to show BJ that the threat was there.

And I disagree that Penn had the more precise, cleaner shots. He had some, but never grouped them together enough to clearly take many of the rounds.
Clue-by-Four- April 12, 2010 at 11:59 am
Did Cecil Peoples change his name and not tell anyone?
MMAINMYBLOOD- April 12, 2010 at 11:52 am
mmmiles9000 Just out of curiosity, what would you say Edgar did to control the fight? The one I saw was Bj moving forward most of the time, and successfully defending about 80 percent or more of Edgars take down attempts. The way I see It Bj controlled where the fight took place so Check that in the win column for him. Octagon control, check. Aggression, check. Precise, cleaner shots, check. What else does he need to do ? I mean come on Edgar clearly wanted this fight on the ground, or else he would have not attempted so many take downs. How is that control when you are forced to stand and eat the Jab and left hook of the champ for five rounds?
RwilsonR- April 12, 2010 at 11:46 am
@ munche and mmmiles9000

Thank you for making some sense! Finally some objectivity, and it seems you were watching what I was watching, and both understand the nature of the scoring system.

@ Howie214

You are a jackass. You know nothing of the rules or scoring. Go read Rich Franklin's "MMA for Dummies" or Frank Shamrock's "MMA for Dummies, vol. 2", or simply read the FAQ's on the UFC website. Any of those would likely vastly improve your understanding of the sport. There is only up to go!
MMAINMYBLOOD- April 12, 2010 at 11:44 am
Oh and anyone that points to the meaningless take downs that Edgar ...scored...get outta here. First of all when you go 2 for 12 on take down attempts... its horrible. Second of all when you finally get him there and cannot control him enough to keep it on the ground...the take down scores no points its useless its like a leg kick if the leg kick doesnt set up a good shot to the face or other strike it just sounds bad ask shogun they dont win fights, and im being generous because the first one looked more like BJ tripped than anything (technically one take down). I mean damn just because someone gets a take down does not win the round..its what you do or use the take down to set up with that counts. Edgar clearly did none of this. Advantage BJ!!
GUI-uh-TEEN- April 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

I've thought about it and had a change of heart (and change of name), it's probably GUI-uh-TEEN, but not GI-uh-TEEN...

I think however Cheick Kongo and GSP say it is the correct way.
mmmiles9000- April 12, 2010 at 11:36 am
I can see why someone would have scored it 50-45. Personally I'm not sure I could have come to that, but the potential was there.

If you look at it as a 25 minute fight, there were many 5 minute periods where I might say Penn was winning, but they didn't ever really fit into one round. To give every round to Edgar is really to say that he was a nose ahead of Penn the entire time (Machide/Rua anyone?), but a few more strikes or a takedown from Penn could have easily secured the fight.

I think octagon control and aggression should be valued highly, because it really does color all the fighter's other actions in the fight.

Edgar won the fight for sure, I'm surprised people think otherwise. I would not want to have to justify the scores to anyone, because it seems like a pain to explain them.

But nothing seems unreasonable here.

Perhaps the real question we should be asking is: should a UFC judge also be coherent when posting on the internet? That's not a part of the job requirements. He should probably stick to his job and not worry about justifying his actions - as long as they are reasonable.

If all 3 judges scored 50-45, then I'd have a problem.
MMAINMYBLOOD- April 12, 2010 at 11:34 am
@Howie214 FYI Dana has no say in the Judges selection process. in case you didn't know, the sport of mma is run by athletic commissions. And these commissions select the judges. This is not the wwe. They are all appointed directly from the commission.