It didn't go over well with mixed martial arts (MMA) fans in attendance at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, nor did it square right with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White who was watching remotely from an undisclosed location.
Diego Sanchez won a razor-thin split decision over Takanori Gomi in their Lightweight clash at UFC on FUEL TV 8 last night (March 2, 2013) after three rounds of back-and-forth action. Fans booed, White incredulously Tweeted obscenities and the "Fireball Kid" furrowed his puzzled brow.
Did "The Dream" really do enough to win the fight?
The official FightMetric report (see it here) would appear to vindicate the judges, or at least take off a little heat, showing that the 155-pound showdown was statistically much closer than the actual action inside the Octagon would indicate. Everything, in fact, was just about dead even in the striking department, which seemed to favor Gomi in real-time.
Sanchez, however, also tacked on a few takedowns, as well as attempted a kneebar submission. One of those takedowns came at the end of the first round, perhaps leaving a positive last-minute impression in the minds of the judges. And then there was that furious flurry to close out the fight in the final 10 seconds that appeared to hurt Gomi more than it did Sanchez.
Again, it was a close fight, but Gomi's precision and counter-punching strikes appeared to be more effective. That wasn't the case, though, in the end, as Sanchez accepted his victory and didn't even consider that perhaps he got a little lucky.