Two rematches headlined in combat sports last night; UFC 215 with Nunes-Shevchenko 2, and the Superfly card headlined by “Chocolatito” and Sor Runvisai 2. Both main events demonstrated, in different ways, the need for better judging in combat sports. The decision of a few, or even of just one person, can have a butterfly effect entirely outsized from the quality of that decision.
Nunes won her UFC rematch last night by controversial split decision. The fight was a slow-paced, technical one, with most observers giving the fight to Shevchenko after five rounds. Two out of three judges, however, saw the fight for Nunes. That one-judge margin reminds me of an argument I saw on a comment thread a long time ago that argued there should be nine judges in mixed martial arts (MMA), not three. I thought, and still think, it made sense: reduce the possibility of one person’s error by increasing the number of people making the call. It may or may not have made a difference, in this case; the fight was extremely close by all accounts. It gives a sense of caprice, though, when the stakes far outweigh the margins.
Chocolatito-Sor Rungvisai 2 is an example of the height of those stakes. The HBO commentary team in the rematch were insistent that Chocolatito had actually won the first fight fairly handily, but the judges had gifted it to Sor Rungvisai. Chocolatito was undefeated at that time, 46-0, and in the pound-for-pound discussion. In the rematch, he never got into the bout and seemed very unlike himself. Many pundits have chalked it up to age or wear; the commentary team said that getting robbed in the first fight may have tricked him into changing up an approach that had actually worked. You can see their first fight below:
If Chocolatito had won the first fight, as many thought he should have, he would never have looked like this in the rematch, because there would have been no rematch. See the full fight below:
For Shevchenko, this decision could mean a drop to flyweight, if a rematch is denied; for the division, it means waiting. Nunes says she needs to take some time to get hand surgery. For Chocolatito, though, this is likely the end of a career.
Angela Hill may not have anticipated this response from Amanda Nunes’ girlfriend Nina Ansaroff
Camera puts on 10lbs ♀️— Nina Ansaroff (@NinaAnsaroff) September 10, 2017
Demetrious Johnson has evidently moved on with his life and is finding things to be disappointed about other than not getting to break the UFC title defense record.
Damnit no dbs tonight WTF!— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) September 10, 2017
This could have been bad
Wow! A fan just jumped the barrier and attempted to rush the octagon. Security got to him before he could get up on the outside of cage.— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) September 10, 2017
The main event was not popular with the Edmonton crowd.
The boo's are ridiculous. This is such a technical fight.— Ian McCall (@Unclecreepymma) September 10, 2017
Cub Swanson’s got dad jokes.
There must be a lot of ghosts in Edmonton I'm hearing a lot of Boos #ufc215— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) September 10, 2017
That’s a little unsettling, TBH.
TFW you're really excited about dislocating someone's arm. pic.twitter.com/BUe6Mtfu1X— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) September 10, 2017
A reminder that Ilir Latifi is the GOAT of epic MMA Instagram pictures.
Jeremy Stephens turned Gilbert Melendez’ leg into Sloppy Joes with those kicks.
Zlatan borrowing lines from McGregor
Tell Jose I'm coming pic.twitter.com/ozN6bNL7DA— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) September 8, 2017
In Other Worlds
A lot happened in combat sports over the weekend
Oleksandr Usyk stops Marco Huck in R10. Advances to the WBSS Cruiserweight semifinals. pic.twitter.com/OwO3pLSWXk— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 9, 2017
Elbow to right hand for the KO.
Sermit's KO of Kongsanun earlier today at Siam stadium— Joshua Yandle (@JoshYandle) September 9, 2017
(Wait for a better angle) pic.twitter.com/nWBFZHnFoU
I love Peruvian Neckties so this was a special moment for me to watch.
Spin kicks make the world go ‘round.
Svirid and Ospanov about to set the table for GGG next week. Kazakhstan stand up pic.twitter.com/lgV1mmZo3E— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) September 9, 2017
Inoue won last night and he is a monster. Look at that left hook to the body, over and over.
Throwback to the three-weight world champion, Henry Armstrong
How to start a fight by Henry Armstrong pic.twitter.com/GomZL98A8N— AcidHaze (@AcidHaze) September 9, 2017
sometimes, you gotta kill a grandpa in the moat— Jessica Hudnall (@LegKickTKO) September 9, 2017
sometimes, shit gets real fucked up in the moat pic.twitter.com/obc91E7UIf
This is a real sequence that happened in real life and not in a comedy.
Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs! Follow me on Twitter @Vorpality