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Tag: MMA judges

St-Pierre vs. Hendricks: The Most Important Bad Decision In UFC History


(Ladies and gentlemen, your “winner.” / Photo via Esther Lin, MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

There have been many terrible decisions handed out by MMA judges over the years, but none of them had the same consequences as the decision read by UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer following the main event of UFC 167 this past weekend.

After five rounds of back-and-forth action, Johny Hendricks and Georges St-Pierre headed to the scorecards to hear the official outcome of their fight, which should have been in the bag for the challenger. Watching the fight live, I scored it 48-47 for Hendricks, giving him rounds one, two and four, and St-Pierre rounds three and five, all rounds scored 10-9. My friend and fellow journalist James Lynch, whose judgment I trust and who I watched the event with, tallied the same score on his card. So did all 15 media members who had their scores counted by the great database MMADecisions.com. So did most fans and observers of the sport on Twitter and in the arena. So did UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. And so did UFC president Dana White.

Despite this, two Nevada State Athletic Commission judges inexplicitly scored the fight for St-Pierre by scores of 48-47, and the champion got to keep his belt. He then announced to the audience at MGM Grand Garden Arena that he wanted to take some time off after defending his belt for the third time in the past 12 months.

Hendricks, on the other hand, got screwed.

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Man, Isn’t Boxing Corrupt? Anyway, The Judge Who Scored UFC on FOX 7 Main Event for Melendez Runs a Cesar Gracie Affiliate School


(Vierra is standing third from the right in the black gi, next to Cesar Gracie. / Photo via MixedMartialArts.com)

Following the conclusion of UFC on FOX 7 on Saturday, many die-hard fight fans switched their dials to Showtime to watch the WBA light-middleweight title fight between rising boxing star Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and Austin Trout. Though Trout arguably won a majority of the early rounds, the fight’s “open-scoring” system revealed that the judges were in the bag for Alvarez from the beginning. When the match was over, the scores came back unanimously for the 22-year-old ginger: 115-112, 116-111 and a completely batshit 118-109 from judge Stanley Christodoulou. As usual, we MMA types used the opportunity to take potshots at boxing’s endemic corruption.

Alright, so get a load of this shit: Late Saturday night, Ben Henderson’s brother pointed out that Wade Vierra — the dissenting judge in Henderson’s split-decision win over Gilbert Melendez — is a “Master Instructor” for the GracieFighter network, and runs a Cesar Gracie affiliate school in Roseville, California. Considering that Melendez is a well-known Cesar Gracie product, the conflict-of-interest alarms should have been ringing for the California State Athletic Commission, and Vierra shouldn’t have been allowed to judge the fight. But the CSAC didn’t catch it, or didn’t care, or hey, maybe they were in on it. Either way, Bendo’s special night was put in jeopardy.

When judging controversies happen in MMA, fans usually chalk it up to ignorance rather than corruption. But when ignorance from MMA judges and commissions is allowed to exist indefinitely, that is corruption — it’s a corruption of the sport’s legitimacy, even if nobody’s directly profiting from it. Obviously, the UFC lightweight title fight was so close that Vierra’s 48-47 tally for Melendez was much more defensible than Christodoulou’s 118-109 for Canelo. Still, the incident gave the UFC event an appearance of commission malfeasance that reflects very poorly on the promotion and the sport in general. (Was somebody paid off to allow Vierra a spot on the judges’ table? Or is the CSAC just that inept?)

It’s a good thing Henderson won. Otherwise, we might have had a scandal on our hands.

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Even Big John McCarthy Thinks the State of MMA Judging/Refereeing is Bullsh*t


(“Gentlemen, I want a good, clean fight. Listen to my commands at all times, protect yourself at all…I’m sorry, did one of you just shit your pants?” Photo via Esporte.)

We hate to keep beating this dead horse*, but the judging over the past couple UFC events has been particularly egregious. While UFC 156 merely suffered from a puzzling split decision or two and a main event that just barely escaped the controversy we predicted it would end in, last weekend’s UFC on FUEL 7 event was a veritable smorgasbord of fatuousness. Thanks in no small to the efforts of judge Aaron Chatfield — who both scored the Che Mills/Matt Riddle fight 29-28 for Mills and gave Paul Sass the first round against Danny Castillo — MMA judging has once again found itself at the center of controversy. That controversy being: Who the hell are these people and how did they waltz into these jobs?

It’s an answer that seems to allude even Big John McCarthy, the all-seeing, all knowing eye of MMA refereeing, who has been forced called out these blind, ignant sons of bitches for being such blind, ignant sons of bitches. Via MMAFighting:

When it comes to the judging, the biggest thing is, judging by nature is subjective. You look at a fight and you have a guy that throws a bunch of punches. One judge — we’ll say [it's] you — is looking at it, and you’re giving him credit, saying, ‘Wow, he’s really active.’ While I’m looking at it saying, ‘He’s not connecting.’

When you’re looking at the UFC, there’s not a whole lot of excuses. You’ve got a monitor in front of you, so [even] when you can’t see, [you can still see]. That monitor gives them the ability to see a fight from a variety of angles, not just from the one they’re sitting at. And so there’s not a lot of excuses to say, ‘Well, I didn’t see that,’ when it comes to the UFC.

After the jump: McCarthy takes aim at his fellow referees and somehow neglects to mention Jerry Poe.

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So Can We Just Assume That Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo Will Be Marred By Controversy, Then?


(Yep, that guy in the middle is going to be the referee. And that’s not even the scariest part.)

It is a pretty well known fact that Frankie Edgar has been at the center of some controversial decisions during his run as the UFC lightweight champion (and before it, and after it…). It is also a pretty well known fact that Steve Mazzagatti has been responsible for more botched calls in his refereeing career then Carly Rae Jepsen was in 2012. It is also also a well known fact that many of the current judges in MMA couldn’t tell a leg kick from a kneebar if their lives depended on it.

So with all that in mind, you’d think the Nevada State Athletic Commission would try their hardest (or try at all, really) to ensure that the upcoming featherweight title fight between Edgar and Jose Aldo at UFC 156 would be held under the supervision of the sport’s finest referees and judges, as to avoid any controversy that could possibly come as a result of their own incompetence. You would be wrong. As MMAJunkie reports:

During a meeting Tuesday in Las Vegas, the Nevada State Athletic Commission tapped veteran referee Steve Mazzagatti to officiate UFC 156′s main event.

Additionally, the commission named Adelaide Byrd, Jeff Collins and Junichiro Kamijo to judge the featherweight title fight, which pits champ Jose Aldo (21-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar (14-3-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC). 

My God, that was like reading over the list of dinner specials at a Tallahassee Denny’s establishment. At 4 a.m. Sure, the food looks decent enough when doctored up on the glossy menu, and besides, you’re already half in the bag. But then you happen to take a glance at the nutritional facts…and your heart suddenly sinks with the realization that there is no way your night doesn’t end with anything but rhythmic bouts of explosive diarrhea and shame.

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