Let’s get right into this. Week after week, fight after fight, we keep saying the same thing time and time again: When will the judges get things right? At this point, there should be no surprises with how horrible judging can be in mixed martial arts. As a basketball fan, it’s relative to how Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors continues to impress night after night by draining ridiculous long-range shots. We shouldn’t be surprised because he does it every single night, it should be expected. This should also be the sentiment when it comes to MMA judging, yet each weekend, a score is read by Bruce Buffer or an image of a scorecard surfaces that makes you shake your head in disgust. Saturday at UFC Fight Night Brisbane was the latest example of highly questionable judging. Luckily the judge’s opinions were not needed for seven of the final eight fights on the evening. Even when a fight is finished inside the distance, close attention still needs to be paid to how judges viewed the fight to ensure they are accurately assessing what happens inside the cage. Once again in the morning after, the lasting impression is questionable judging.
Daniel Kelly was taken down and found Antonio Carlos Junior on his back with a body triangle locked in just seconds into the opening round of their fight. Kelly would remain on the ground defending the remainder of the round, with virtually zero offensive output. According to FightMetric.com, Kelly landed 0 of 2 significant strikes in the first round, 2 of 4 strikes total, whereas his opponent landed 7 of 11 significant strikes, 25 of 35 total. I usually don’t dive deep into striking numbers because the visual evidence is usually strong enough to get the point across. In this particular situation, it is used as reinforcement because a fighter was dominated on the ground for over four minutes of the round, the numbers show he had zero offensive output, and somehow earned a 9 on the scorecards from all three judges.
It reminded me of the second round in Gunnar Nelson vs. Demian Maia at UFC 194, where Maia completely outclassed his opponent on the ground for the majority of the round and was accurately scored a 10-8. Maybe it was “hometown” scoring from the judges that gave Kelly the benefit. Ultimately, it did not matter because Dan Kelly unleashed the beast of an old junkyard dog in the third round and sent “Shoe face” home with his head down.
Perhaps not as egregious as the scoring of round 1 in Kelly vs. Carlos Junior, but still somewhat concerning, was the scoring of Jake Matthews vs. Johnny Case. The Fight of the Night bonus winner was a close and very entertaining contest until it was ultimately ended by Matthews in the third round via submission, but it was also on its way to producing a very controversial judges decision. The consensus among journalists and those sharing their opinion across social media saw the fight as tied going into the third round, with Matthews winning round one and Case winning round two. The officials sitting cage-side did not see it as such, with judge Albert Shen and Paul Sutherland scoring both rounds for Case, while judge Peter Hickmott’s scores reflected the opinion of the unofficial judges. If Jake Matthews did not secure a rear-naked choke finish, a lot of people would be crying robbery right now for the 21-year-old Australian. Have a look at that rear-naked choke again. With 1:06 left on the clock, Johnny Case grabs the cage with his toes and then blatantly grabs it with his right hand to help adjust his body in an attempt alleviate pressure from the choke. If you are unaware, cage grabbing is a foul, however, the ref was focused on the neck and facial expressions of Case that he did not see the fouls occur.
What would happen if the cage grabs resulted in a successful escape from the choke, and Case goes on to win the fight via split decision to the tune of 29-28 on two judges’ cards? Thankfully, we don’t have to answer this question, but it’s a pretty concerning thought.
The co-main event between Hector Lombard and Neil Magny was an insane fight that sent us on an emotional rollercoaster. Magny was rocked hard by Lombard in the first round and proceed to receive brutal strikes on the ground for the majority of the round. Many people were suggesting the fight should have been stopped in the first, however, I believe the referee did the right thing here, as Magny was intelligently defending himself at all times and was constantly moving to avoid strikes. He took one hell of a beating in the opening frame but survived “Hurricane Lombard” to see another five minutes of action. Surely that round was a 10-8 on the cards, no?
With heart and determination on full display, Magny came out firing in the second round, while Lombard showed signs of heavy fatigue. There was still enough juice (that’s no USADA reference) in Lombard to deliver a hard punch that dropped Magny again, but this time around, he lacked the ability to capitalize in the same fashion as the first round. Magny managed to recover yet again, which changed the course of the fight. From that point on it was all Neil Magny unleashing brutal ground and pound on Lombard, who was all but knocked out. As the round came to a close, it began to feel disgusting. Lombard was not actively moving to avoid strikes. He was hardly covering up, and at one point was flattened out on his belly, taking multiple shots to the head. For some reason that cannot be justified in any way, shape, or form, the referee did not stop the fight. Perhaps he wanted to witness a man die right before his eyes. The horn would sound and the men would return to their corners. Surely that round was a 10-8 on the cards too, no?
The third round began and Magny secured the easiest takedown that Hector Lombard has ever given up in his entire life, and Magny began to unleash more ground and pound. Thankfully, this time, the referee only allowed a couple of strikes to land before stopping it, in a sense acknowledging his poor judgement in the previous round. Remember the questions about the 10-8 rounds on the scorecards? The answer was no. Every judge scribbled in 10s and 9s on the cards for rounds that were incredibly one-sided. Magny all but killed a man and couldn’t earn a 10-8.
A moment must be taken out to acknowledge the beast that is Neil Magny. What an incredible display of will to stay in the game and find a way to win that fight against a very scary opponent. He is one of the most active fighters in the UFC who always comes to put on a show. Hopefully, this win propels him into a matchup against an opponent ranked in the top five.
I leave you to pose this question to all mixed martial arts judges: What are we doing here? There has to be a distinction between dominant rounds. Barry Foley and Kon Papaionannou both judged Chad Laprise vs. Ross Pearson (a fight that produced a rarity of its own on the scorecards) and Neil Magny vs. Hector Lombard. Are we to believe their scores of 10-9’s in Pearson vs. Laprise were the same as the 10-9’s in Magny vs. Lombard? If only, there were a way to show the difference between the two…
With that thought in mind, it’s time to walk-off like Mark Hunt.
For the latest MMA news, live event coverage, and more follow @mmalatestnws on Twitter.
*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results
The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.
Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.
Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.
MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST
- Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-2) – Women’s strawweight bout
- Jan Blachowicz (19-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-1) – Light heavyweight bout
- Oskar Piechota (9-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-2) – Middleweight bout
PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 16:45PM BST
- Marcin Held (22-7) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (8-1) – Lightweight bout
- Brian Kelleher (10-4) vs. Damian Stasiak (17-8) – Bantamweight bout
- Result: Brian Kelleher def. Damian Stasiak via TKO (strikes) Round 3 – 3:39
- Sam Alvey (31-9) vs. Ramazan Emeev (15-3) – Catchweight bout (189lbs)
- Result: Ramazan Emeev def. Sam Alvey via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Andre Fili (16-3) vs. Artem Lobov (14-13) – Featherweight bout
- Result: Andre Fili def. Artem Lobov via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Warlley Alves (11-2) vs. Salim Touahri (10-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Warlley Alves def. Salim Touahri via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Aspen Ladd (5-0) vs. Lina Lansberg (7-2) – Women’s bantamweight bout
- Result: Aspen Ladd def. Lina Länsberg via TKO (punches) Round 2 – 2:33
- Felipe Arantes (18-7) vs. Josh Emmett (11-0) – Featherweight bout
- Result: Josh Emmett def. Felipe Arantes via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-25)
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card
Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.
Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.
This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.
Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK
- Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
- Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
- Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
- Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)
Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK
- 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
- Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
- Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
- Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
- 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
- Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
- Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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