Bad mixed martial arts (MMA) judging from Nevada officials is nothing new, especially as we approach our 50th UFC Vegas event cooped up inside UFC Apex. But, that doesn’t mean the issue isn’t still upsetting fighters and coaches as they see their futures and paychecks jerked around by consistently questionable scoring.
At UFC Vegas 47last night (Sat., Feb. 5, 2022), the big judging controversy surrounds the main event: while Sean Strickland rightfully defeated Jack Hermansson via decision (watch highlights here), it ended up being a split decision. Judges Derek Cleary and Junichiro Kamijo both scored the fight 49-46 for Strickland. Meanwhile, Sal D’Amato somehow saw it 48-47 for Hermansson.
Strickland’s head coach at XTreme Couture, Erick Nicksick, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with the score.
Not even one media member scored it for Jack. I know we won, but if this guy is still judging, he will continue to make egregious decisions and ultimately cost fighters their careers and livelihood. #fireSal pic.twitter.com/g70PizTsuO— Eric Nicksick (@Eric_XCMMA) February 6, 2022
“Not even one media member scored it for Jack,” Nicksick wrote, referencing the MMADecisions page for the fight where media members submit their scorecards. “I know we won, but if this guy is still judging, he will continue to make egregious decisions and ultimately cost fighters their careers and livelihood.”
He finished off his tweet with an unambiguous #FireSal hashtag.
Others on Twitter were equally unimpressed with Sal:
Sal D’Amato scored rounds 1,3, and 5 for Jack Hermansson. You may say “but the right guy won”…which would be a cop-out. It’s about accountability and and athletic commissions ignoring it. Having judges threaten, better yet,affect a fighters livelihood is inexcusable. #MMATwitter pic.twitter.com/M2JiaZJPPb— Jay Henry (@jayhenry79) February 6, 2022
#firesal @ufc really need to fire sal D’Amato— ufcvideos_ (@ufcvideos_) February 6, 2022
This is the guy who gave Ngannou 49-46 against gane.
He’s also the guy who gave jack the decision against Strickland ♂️
Sal D’Amato needs to be fired ASAP. These decisions mean so much to fighters.
Sal D’Amato isn’t the only judge who gave round 3 to Jack Hermansson.— BigJim3rd (@BigJim3rd) February 6, 2022
That’s scary. https://t.co/RIvBr08mpK
Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything to change. D’Amato has been mucking up scoring for more than a decade now and the commission has never cared before. This isn’t even his worst score by far. The only thing we know for sure covering this sport is that nothing will fundamentally change.
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