The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) had a lot to answer for in the wake of the UFC 247: “Jones vs. Reyes” pay-per-view (PPV) event, which took place last Sat. night (Feb. 8, 2020) inside Toyota Center in Houston.
While there were a couple of wonky scorecards, including the travesty that was Andre Ewell vs. Jonathan Martinez, fans have been most vocal about judge Joe Soliz, who inexplicably scored the light heavyweight headliner 49-46 in favor of Jon Jones.
“Comments have been made about the selection of the judges and the referees,” commission spokesperson, Tela Mange, told MMA Junkie. “In selecting ringside officials, TDLR takes into consideration recommendations made by UFC. As with all events, TDLR works closely with UFC and other promoters to ensure the quality and experience of referees and judges to protect the health and safety of the fighters.”
Rogan also accused Soliz — during the live broadcast — of looking at the floor instead of the fight. Having been to the Toyota Center on multiple occasions, I can assure you that outside of the occasional beer spill, there is nothing worth looking at.
“Claims have been made that a judge was not paying attention to the fight and was looking down at the floor,” Mange continued. “One of the advances that UFC has made in the past several years has been to provide small video monitors below the floor level of the Octagon for each judge to more closely monitor matches.”
I don’t know if that makes it better or worse when you consider some of the scores handed down. This certainly isn’t the first time the judges have screwed up and it by no means will be the last, which indicates the judges need to be better educated when it comes to MMA fights.