If you aren't Brazilian, you should expect a few things should you ever fight in Brazil. The first is that the fans are going to chant "you're gonna die" in unison. Don't worry, you probably won't die. The second is that if the fight goes to the judges' scorecards, you'll likely lose the decision.
Sorry, that's just how it works.
Last night (Aug. 3, 2013), Ian McCall fought Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) newcomer Iliarde Santos on the under card of UFC 163 at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For three rounds, McCall showed brilliant striking technique as he outworked the Brazilian fighter.
There were some times when McCall would shy away from his gameplan and get into striking exchanges, but for the most part, he fought a perfect fight. In fact, Fight Metric shows that he out landed his opponent a staggering 104-46 times.
Had this fight taken place anywhere else in the world, there would be no doubt who would walk away with the decision victory. The numbers don't lie, and McCall was just the better all-around fighter. But, as Bruce Buffer read the score cards and dragged out the "I," it looked like "Uncle Creepy" was going to faint.
He had to have known in his heart that he won the fight, but the body language his corner said otherwise. By contrast, Santos, despite landing an abysmal 26 percent of his total strikes, was sure that he was getting the nod.
When McCall was finally announced as the winner, Santos and his corner threw up their hands like they were the victims of some great robbery. That it was the Unified Rules that failed them and that their fighter did more than enough to leave a lasting impression in the minds of the judges.
And the truth is, they have every reason to expect it. The hometown bias is a very real thing in sports. In football and basketball, the home team will often get calls they wouldn't usually get when playing on the road. In combat sports, it's favorable matchmaking or getting the nod in a close round.
Ian McCall faced adversity in and outside of the cage this year. It's good to see that the judges can get it right sometimes.
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