UFC President Dana White after UFC 150. Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
I'll just come out and say it; I think Frankie Edgar got screwed at UFC 150 and I think it was the UFC's fault for airing the fight statistics before the judges had even rendered the decision.
In a rematch for the UFC Lightweight Championship, Edgar and Henderson had a hard fought and very even fight. Both men had their moments and Henderson was ultimately awarded a split-decision victory.
The problem is that, immediately following the fifth round, the UFC aired fight stats showing that Henderson had landed more strikes than Edgar and landed them at a higher percentage.
Clearly, making it known to the judges that one fighter landed more strikes is going to have influence on the decision.
The thing is, the stats shown by the UFC may not have been totally accurate. Fightmetric.com has the stats posted on their website and those numbers show that it was actually Edgar who landed more strikes.
I have no way of verifying which numbers are correct, but I think we can all agree that airing numbers right after a fight ends—before they can even be double checked—is a little irresponsible.
Furthermore, the whole idea of showing total strikes as a means of determining a winner is flawed.
Fights are divided into rounds and so total strikes only partially paints the picture. For instance, Fighter A could win a round scoring 40 strikes to zero, but then Fighter B could win the next two rounds by landing 18 to zero in each. Fighter B should win the fight, but Fighter A has more total strikes.
If the UFC really wants to use these stats effectively, they have to be given on a round-by-round basis and they must provide both striking and grappling stats simultaneously—this is important in providing an accurate representation of how things went.
For example, Henderson had 17 significant strikes in the fourth round to Edgar's 15. So, that makes it look like Henderson won that round. However, Edgar had a takedown in that round and a submission attempt, so that should make the round a draw or lean things in Edgar's favor.
The fact is this: The way the UFC is currently communicating their stats is not always an accurate representation of who is winning the fight, but that isn't stopping the judges from seeing the numbers and being influenced by them.
It's a flawed system and they should get rid of it.