MMA judging is frequently ridiculed, scrutinized, and discussed among fans and commentators alike. Last night at UFC 155 in Las Vegas was exactly why judges in this sport get this kind of treatment. There were 8 decisions out of 12 fights and there were several scorecards ranging from iffy to downright horrible.
Here are the questionable scorecards from last night's event:
Adelaide Byrd - 30-27 for Melvin Guillard over Jamie Varner.
This one was the worst of the night. Just the fact that she seriously scored the 3rd round for Guillard when he was soundly outwrestled by Varner is absurd. I scored it 29-28 Varner and gave Guillard the 2nd round, but it seemed generally clear-cut to MMA media that Varner had won. I've made it no secret that I believe Byrd is incompetent in both boxing and MMA, and in MMA she has not only scored this fight for Guillard, but also gave Leonard Garcia the first fight over Nam Phan and a 30-27 for Carlos Eduardo Rocha against Jake Ellenberger. Joe Rogan may have been hyperbolic in saying "the person who scored 30-27 Guillard should never judge again", but ... it's not far from the truth. These are three EGREGIOUSLY bad cards I've listed and last night's was the icing on the cake.
Cecil Peoples and Marco Rosales - 29-28 for Max Holloway over Leonard Garcia.
Yeah, I'd never thought I'd type that out. While I don't buy that this was an outright "robbery", I certainly gave the fight to Garcia based on the 2nd and 3rd rounds. While Garcia was certainly tagging Holloway with wild haymakers he was also doing his usual windmill impression and getting countered multiple times by Max. Garcia also scored a couple of takedowns cumulatively in the final 2 rounds that could've swung the fight Leonard's way. Round 1 was easily a Holloway round particularly with the early knockdown. Seven of 10 major MMA media scorecards scored it 29-28 for Garcia, our own Dallas Winston scored a draw, and 2 others had it for Holloway. FightMetric doesn't have round-by-round stats yet (they likely won't know how many punches Leonard Garcia threw until mid-July) but from what i recall from the FX broadcast, Garcia outlanded Holloway in significant strikes.
Marcos Rosales - 50-45 Cain Velasquez over Junior dos Santos.
Obviously dos Santos didn't win the fight, but Cain Velasquez thoroughly pasted JDS in the first two rounds and Rosales didn't conjure up a 10-8. If these were the judges from the FOX show in Seattle Cain might have won 50-10. As a fervent supporter of 10-8s, dos Santos was providing little resistance to Cain's relentless pressure and in the 1st round he was just about knocked out following a ferocious right hand from Velasquez. Dominating rounds should be rewarded as such. Another example would be GSP vs. Dan Hardy, a fight where Hardy provided no offense for the entire fight yet one judge (Cardo Urso) gave no 10-8s to GSP like the other two judges did.
Mark Smith - 29-28 for Brad Pickett over Eddie Wineland.
This is an atrocious score. Presumably he gave Pickett rounds 2 and 3 because Pickett was knocked down multiple times in round 1. Statistically Wineland landed more significant strikes (24-19 in round 2, and 38-29 in round 3). While Pickett had improved from his early troubles, Wineland was clearly the more active and powerful puncher. According to MMA Decisions, not a single major media member gave the fight to Pickett. I'm baffled that we had two fights with 30-27 scorelines for the rightful winner yet a split decision in both.