Every week it seems like there’s another judging controversy in mixed martial arts (MMA). Fortunately, we haven’t seen a truly terrible main event decision in a while, but that doesn’t mean the scores further down the card have been correct.
UFC Vegas 25 had more than its fair share of decisions — eight of the 11 bouts went to the judges’ scorecards. And while there were some strange things going on if you looked closely at the scoring, the right person did win in most matches.
Except, may we say, in the T.J. Brown vs. Kai Kamaka III fight.
The official decision saw Brown take a split decision with Michael Bell and Sal D’Amato delivering 29–28, 29–28 scores, while dissenting judge Adalaide Byrd had Kamaka winning 30-27. Bell and D’Amato were pretty much the only two people in the world to think Brown won ... over at MMA Decisions, all 15 media scorers saw the bout for Kamaka (nine had it 29-28 Kamaka, six had it 30-27 Kamaka).
I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it was a robbery. But, it was obviously the wrong call. And now Kamaka’s team is going to appeal.
“Tomorrow we will be filing an appeal for the blatantly horrible decision against Kai Kamaka,” Kamaka’s manager Brian Butler wrote in a statement released to MMA Fighting. “I don’t believe I have seen one media outlet that gave that fight to TJ and from what I understand even TJ and his team say they didn’t win. There is little to no recourse on these judges not being able to do their jobs properly and for a fighter like Kai who moved his entire household from Hawaii to pursue this career, it’s simply not right.
“I’m not suggesting that the fight wasn’t competitive but that doesn’t mean it was hard to see that Kai won every round of that fight,” he continued. “Our hope is that if they won’t overturn the decision, the commission will at least review the fight with us and explain to us where Kai lost.”
Alas, Nevada is nothing if not stubborn when it comes to defending their poor decisions. We dug through the archives to see if a formal complaint has ever changed the scoring of a bout in the state, and didn’t find anything. So good luck to Butler, and good on him for making a point of calling out the Nevada judges, but we don’t see much coming of this.
For complete UFC Vegas 25: “Reyes vs. Prochazka” results and play-by-play, click HERE.