Another week, another judging controversy.
It really wouldn’t be combat sports without some fight somewhere in the world turning in a score that has everyone scratching their heads at best or howling into the void at worst. Sometimes you’ve got evidence of the judge who botched a fight score fiddling with their phone — evidence that is then ignored by the commission that clears him. Others times it’s just some garden variety confounding scores handed in.
At UFC Vegas 14, the right man in the main event still won, but it was still a “WTF” moment to witness one judge score the fight 48-47 for Paul Felder over Rafael dos Anjos. The other two judges turned in 50-45 scores for dos Anjos, which is about where everyone else with two eyes and a functioning brain had things.
Check out the reactions from Paul and Rafael as the first scorecard is read:
Pretty LOL, but past that it’s kind of disturbing enough for us fight fans to watch over and over and over again. Imagine what it’s like to watch that as a fighter whose future (and 50 percent win payment) is held in the dopey hands of such inconsistent fools.
Eventual Welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns shared his thoughts after the scores were shared:
Fuck these judges! I’m always looking for the finish but sometimes it’s hard these judges are doing a terrible job wow please @danawhite @ufc or whoever can help Please we cannot have our payments be decided (1 or 2 checks) by these crazy judges that’s insane #UFCVegas14— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) November 15, 2020
#UFCVegas14 lessons RDA is a 155 top 5 not 170, Felder is a warrior and one judge is terrible at his job— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) November 15, 2020
Who da fook is that guy? Chris Lee? https://t.co/JYG67eVTBa— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) November 15, 2020
This weekend’s villain is Chris Lee, who is no stranger to calling a fight different from his fellow judges:
Judge Chris Lee, who scored the main event for Paul Felder, has been involved in 10 UFC/Bellator split decisions in 2020 and was the dissenting judge in 7 of them.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) November 15, 2020
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot UFC can do. Judges are appointed by the local commission, in this the Nevada Athletic Commission. You’d think the “fight capital of the world” would have a better crop of judges, but it’s actually kind of the opposite: most seats are held onto by a cabal of pretty crappy regulars like Lee, D’Amato, and even boxing pariah Adalaide Byrd.
After the main event scores were read, Michael Bisping said what we were all thinking: “That judge needs to take a good long look at themselves in the mirror ... and find a new job.”
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