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‘Controversial’ judge who scored Paddy Pimblett fight now under review by commission — ‘This is a very serious situation’

UFC Fight Night: Salikhov v Staropoli Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It was a banner weekend for Doug Crosby.

The longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) judge came under fire for not one, but two scorecards over the last few days, starting with the Danny Sabatello vs. Raufeon Stots main event at Bellator 289 in Uncasville and ending with the Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon co-headliner at UFC 282 in Las Vegas.

Crosby scored Sabatello-Stots 50-45 in favor of Sabatello (10-9 x5), which made history on Dec. 9 as the first 50-45 scorecard ever recorded for a loser in the MMADecisions.com database. Fellow judges Eric Colon and Bryan Miner scored the contest 48-47 for Stots, awarding “Supa” a split decision victory.

The commission was not impressed.

“One judge had Sabatello winning all five rounds, which is controversial,” Mohegan Athletic Department Director of Athletics Mike Mazzulli wrote (via MMA Fighting). “But ultimately Stots won the decision, which is the correct result. In an effort to make this a learning moment, I have informed all three judges we will be reviewing the fight together.”

Check out our Bellator 289 play-by-play, also scored in favor of Stots, right here.

“This is a very serious situation,” he wrote. “The Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department always looks out for the best interests of all fighters. In the past the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department has sanctioned officials that are not performing to the level that is required. Such sanctions, when they occur, are not made public.”

Crosby then scored the Pimblett fight 29-28 in favor of “The Baddy” the following night, despite the fact that 23 of the 24 media outlets providing UFC 282 results and play-by-play scored the bout in favor of Gordon. Also turning in a “wrong” scorecard was MMA judge Ron McCarthy, son of veteran referee “Big” John McCarthy (more on that here).

Here’s another interesting stat following last weekend’s events.

Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is unlikely to take any action.

MMA judging continues to be a hot-button topic and despite so many issues in the past, there doesn’t appear to be any urgency in overhauling the system, or at least providing a more comprehensive training and review process for the officials assigned. Until that happens, all we can do is recycle that tired old line about hands and judges.

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