Questionable judging is a problem that is unfortunately encountered far too often in the sport of MMA.
Saturday night's UFC 247 event arguably took the issue to a whole other level, though.
The entire card, which took place at the Toyota Center in Houston, was strewn with poor judging performances.
For example, judge Joe Soliz awarded Trevin Giles the first round of his middleweight bout with James Krause - despite the fact that Krause had the back of his opponent for almost four minutes. The decision not to score the round for Krause would go on to cost him the victory.
Controversy also marred the bantamweight clash between Andre Ewell and Jonathan Martinez. Ewell was awarded a split decision victory by the judges - with one judge giving Ewell all three rounds. UFC lead commentator Jon Anik was appalled by the judging after the scores were announced, stating: “I’m just not sure how, sober, you score that third round for Andre Ewell.”
- Jon Jones defeats Dominick Reyes
- Scorecards revealed for Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes
- Cerrone received no PPV money from McGregor fight
The farcical nature of the situation was perfectly captured in a video posted to Twitter by user @scottystyles29.
The clip features a portion of the women's flyweight fight between Lauren Murphy and Andrea Lee - during which Joe Rogan noticed that one of the judges for the fight was not actually watching the action that was unfolding in front of him.
"We're looking at a judge that's not even watching the fight...This is insane," exclaimed Rogan - whose concerns were then echoed by fellow commentator Dominick Cruz.
"The judges just don't even watch...They are looking down at the floor. Insane! It's going to be tough for the fighters tonight to figure out how to win a decision."
The 25-second video then concludes as Rogan bellows: "This is crazy. He's still not watching the fight!"
By the time the light heavyweight championship headliner between champion Jon Jones and challenger Dominick Reyes rolled around, fans in attendance were already sick of the incompetence shown by the evening's judges.
The main event did little to appease the audience either - as Jones was awarded a unanimous decision win in a fight that many observers felt that Reyes had done enough to win.
The fight was certainly close - and a three rounds to two scorecard in favour of Jones would not be unreasonable - but the fact that one judge had given the champion four out of the five rounds was too much for Rogan, who once again ripped the judges after the pay-per-view broadcast ended.
"For anyone to think that was 4-1 for Jon Jones, that person is insane! They’re insane! Dominick Reyes put on a hell of a fight tonight, and to disrespect that performance with that kind of judging is insane.”
UFC president Dana White also took issue with some of the evening's scoring at the post-fight press conference.
It is safe to say that UFC will be thinking long and hard before bringing another high-profile fight back to Texas given the performance of its officials.
The exact requirements to become an MMA judge are not uniform and will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, surely the most important criteria must be that judges are able to keep their eyes on the fights! A puzzling night indeed.News Now - Sport News