It was a busy weekend in combat sports, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the FX network with its "Johnson vs. McCall" event on Friday night (June 8, 2012) from the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida, featuring Demetrious Johnson advancing to the flyweight tournament finals with a decision win over Ian McCall.
The better fighter won in "The Sunshine State."
A few thousand miles away, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, a much bigger battle unfolded the very next night as pound-for-pound boxing great Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring to put his WBO welterweight championship on the line against the undefeated Timothy Bradley.
By the time all was said and done, controversy and complete chaos reigned supreme.
Bradley was awarded a split decision victory on scores of 115-113, 113-115, and 115-113, and outrage immediately rang out through the entire sporting world.
If you were too wrapped up in the world of mixed martial arts to notice Pacquiao vs. Bradley, or perhaps just too high and mighty to give the "sweet science" the time of day, you can bring yourself up to speed with highlights and event links after the jump.
Rewatch the complete HBO 24/7 video series to see why this bout was such a big deal:
Relive the drama from last Saturday night with MMAmania.com's own live results and blow-by-blow coverage for every round of Pacquiao vs. Bradley:
A complete breakdown and post-fight analysis of their "Sin City" showdown:
Watch highlights from the big fight to see exactly how the judges could have possibly ruled in favor of Bradley over Pacquiao:
Is boxing dead? Immediate outrage from fans suggests as much, even if it's just folks riding high on emotion:
UFC President Dana White was among the many fans watching the HBO PPV and he was just as pissed off with the decision. His target of outrage was the state athletic commission he holds so many fights in:
Hours after the smoke had cleared, the feeling of boxing's credibility have vanished remained strong:
A big story leading up to the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight was whether or not the Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics game would interfere with the start time of the bout. It didn't:
The morning after recap and discussion was just as biting as the previous evening's immediate reaction:
Check out a complete photo gallery of the event, with pictures of every fight that happened on the card:
Quite a few folks were crying that boxing was dead and declaring mixed martial arts (MMA) king of the combat sports world. One man dared to go against that:
Because of Manny Pacquiao's incredible popularity, MMA fans the world over decided to give boxing a chance on Saturday night. Here's what one writer came away with:
Boxing analysts were perhaps the most aggressive in their damning of the judges decision. Teddy Atlas certainly didn't pull any punches:
- Pacquiao vs. Bradley results: Teddy Atlas on Manny Pacquiao loss, corruption and incompetence in boxing
Top Rank promoter and the man who sells both Paquiao and Bradley, Bob Arum, also had harsh words for the sport of boxing in the aftermath of the fight. But he was also looking forward to banking on the rematch:
One of the judges responsible for Bradley scoring a split decision win actually decided to defend his position by explaining his reasoning:
- Pacquiao vs. Bradley results: Judge defends score for Timothy Bradley split decision win over Manny Pacquiao
After initially saying he would make bank on a rematch, Bob Arum flipped the script the next day and started claiming he wants an investigation into the result of the fight to prove everything was on the up-and-up: