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Embattled MMA judge at center of Paddy Pimblett controversy breaks silence on UFC scoring debacle

UFC 282: Pimblett v Gordon Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The combat sports community would like to have a word with Doug Crosby.

The longtime MMA judge came under fire for not one, but two controversial scorecards last weekend, 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.

“You’ve got to assign a numerical value to what you just saw and on average you get about 15 seconds to turn that score in,” Crosby told told Chael Sonnen during the “You’re Welcome” podcast (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “If you write off about five of those seconds for the time it takes to write it, that leaves you about 10 seconds to make a decision about who won a round and who lost a round.”

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 database. Fellow judges Eric Colon and Bryan Miner scored the contest 48-47 for Stots, awarding “Supa” a split decision victory.

“Over the last 15 years, when you talk to the fighters, the overarching comment — and I’m not going to call it a complaint, I’ll call it a comment or a concern, is that effective grappling is not given enough weight in the scoring criteria and recently, the scoring criteria has been modified and updated so that effective striking and effective grappling are considered equal,” Crosby said. “And if effective grappling is considered the equal of effective striking, and then you look at any of my scores through that newly ground mental lens, the scores may become easier to understand.”

Crosby, who also faced criticism for judging two separate MMA events on other sides of the country within a 24-hour period, scored the Pimblett bout 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 contest in favor of Gordon.

“That has to do with reading and understanding the criteria and I don’t know who does that and who doesn’t,” Crosby continued. “I do know that when I talk to fighters they are overwhelmingly intelligent and articulate and courageous and I respect them all, for better or worse, and that’s what moves me forward, is what’s best for the fighters not what’s best for the coaches or the media. For the fighters and any fighter knows that they can discuss anything with me in private at any time.”

Sounds like the commission will have some private discussions of its own.

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