(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.