Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to FOX Sports 1 last night (Oct. 9, 2013) for UFC Fight Night 29: "Maia vs. Shields" at Jose Correa Gymnasium in Barueri, Brazil, headlined by a five-round welterweight battle between Demian Maia and Jake Shields.
With the exception of the final frame, their televised main event was largely contested on the ground.
When all was said and done, Shields walked away with a close split-decision victory (see the Fight Metric report here) before a stunned Brazilian crowd. When questioned at the UFC Fight Night 29 post-fight press conference (watch it here), Maia told media members he was baffled by the criteria for scoring.
"I don't understand the judges. My strategy going into the fifth round was to defend the takedowns and score points standing, so I thought the fight was 3-2 to me. I think the judges should make their criteria more clear and the judges should go public. A decision like this can change a fighter's life and these guys never show up. They need to show up. They need to know the responsibility they have with judging, and they should clarify the rules."
The loss was Maia's first at 170 pounds.
Here's a breakdown of the scoring, by frame. The two judges who gave it to Shields were not unanimous in their selection of winning rounds, but still had it 3-2 in favor of the former Strikeforce champion.
Richard Bertrand: R1, R2, R5 for Shields, R3, R4 for Maia (48-47 Shields)
Sal D'Amato: R2, R3, R5 for Shields, R1, R4 for Maia (48-47 Shields)
Guilherme Bravo: R1, R4, R5 for Maia, R2, R3 for Shields (48-47 Maia)
Maia believes judges should have to explain themselves following the official decision (try telling that to C.J. Ross).
While Shields is clamoring for another crack at division champion Georges St. Pierre, Maia will be forced to go to the back of the line. It wasn't a blowout, by any means, but it also wasn't a performance worthy of keeping him "in the mix." At least for now.
For more news, notes and reactions from UFC Fight Night 29, including fight video highlights and play-by-play coverage of all the action from Brazil, check out our "Maia vs. Shields" live coverage story stream by clicking here.