There definitely were some horrible decisions by the judges tonight at UFC 247. Commentators Joe Rogan and Dominick Cruz were all over the judges all night long. Even bringing to light during the Lauren Murphy Andrea Lee fight that 1 of the judges was busy looking at the floor or chit-chatting with another commission member and not paying attention to the fight. The judges got that 1 wrong with one of them even scoring the bout 30 to 27 for Murphy, who was awarded a decision that she didn’t earn inside the octagon.
They also got it wrong in the Derrick Lewis vs Ilir Latifi fight. Lewis was outworked and controlled by Latifi who many thought had won 29-28. All three judges had exactly opposite giving the fight to Lewis in front of his hometown Houston crowd.
In the Mirsad Bektic vs Dan Ige fight, the judges scored it a split decision for Ige, which was right as far as the winner, but wrong as far as being a split vs a unanimous decision, which it clearly was for Ige.
Joe Rogan lost his mind when the scores of the Ewell vs Martinez fight were announced, specifically because one judge gave Ewell a 30-27. Rogan can be overly dramatic at times, and this was one of those times. Ewell won the 1st two without question, and the 3rd was very close and while I had it for Martinez, no issue with the 30-27 score, especially after looking at the stats post-fight.
In the main event, Jon Jones took home a unanimous decision victory against Dominick Reyes with scores of 48-47, 48-47, 49-46. Two judges got it right, in my opinion, in a close championship fight. The one judge that gave Jones 4 out of the 5 rounds coincidently was the same judge that gave Ewell a 30 – 27 score. That judge was wrong on both accounts.
In his post-fight commentary former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz made what I feel is the most accurate statement on the current situation of judging across the sport of mixed martial arts, and the absolutely 100% right thought on what needs to happen to fix it, or at least get it going in the right direction.
- “We need one system not 10 or 25 different systems in every state because each commission wants to have their own rules and don’t want to coincide with the sport with all of us. They want to be right themselves, and that is the situation, and the judging and the judges and these commissions are separate from the event, and they are boxing commissions that stay separate and don’t communicate with the rest of everybody else, and so we’re not working as a team we’re working against each other making each other wrong and it’s causing problems for the fighters!” – Dominick Cruz post-fight at #UFC247
One of, if not the biggest problem in the sport of mixed martial arts is judging. There are too many judges that have a boxing background that haven’t adapted to the sport of mixed martial arts. While it has gotten slightly better over the last couple of years, the disparity in what scoring should be for a mixed martial arts contest on a consistent basis is nowhere near the level that it should be.
Like Cruz stated, there needs to be one system in place. All the judges should be voting, or should I say scoring based on the same criteria and we should not have the big difference in scores of the same fight that we are used to seeing. However, as long as athletic commissions continue to work under their own interpretation of the “unified” rules, and let their egos get in their way because they don’t want to be told what to do by any other state or athletic commission, this problem will never be fixed.
I for one am not a huge advocate for government interference in many areas. With that being said, maybe it’s time we have a federal boxing/mixed martial arts commission that implements unified rules that every state absolutely has to follow with no option to interpret the rules any way they feel like, and failure to comply under the new federal rules would result in that state or jurisdiction not being allowed to host professional fights until they fall in line.
I honestly can’t think of any other way to get scoring to be more consistent. What I do know is there are too many fighters that have been done an injustice by a judge that isn’t qualified to be sitting cage side with an athlete’s career and financial future entrusted to their decision making.
These athletes work so hard to hone their skills only to have their work as a professional be left in the hands of amateurs, and that’s just wrong!
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.