Controversy is common for every sport. But when the outcome of a match in MMA is so widely disputed, it does a little more than raise some eyebrows about the scoring system itself.
The Benson Henderson vs. Josh Thomson headline fight in the UFC on Fox 10 finished after five close rounds with Henderson coming out on top by a final of 48-47, 47-48, 49-46. While some fans see the final as either a robbery for the former Strikeforce titleholder, others believed the match was simply closer than the final score would make some believe.
As for UFC president Dana White, he didn't hold any punches about his thoughts on the scoring in an interview with Fox Sports:
Elias Cepeda of Yahoo! Sports provides some commentary on the finish:
Boos cascaded down into the Octagon as the decision was announced in the United Center. Josh Thomson shook Henderson's hand immediately but then shook his head in disbelief as he walked out of the cage and back towards the locker room.
Did Henderson deserve to win?
Whether fans stand on one side of the fence or the other, the results from the Saturday match leave a controversy that won't soon go away for UFC.
Thomson looked like the better fighter in Rounds 1, 3 and 5, even after breaking his thumb early in the match, as he announced in the post-fight press conference. But the gritty performance wasn't enough to pull out the win over Henderson.
Henderson's win wasn't the first controversial win for him in a close decision. In fact, he has a string of matches that have gone down to decisions, as ESPN Stats and Info points out:
Benson Henderson rebounds from loss in previous fight, def. Josh Thomson by split decision. Henderson's last 8 wins have come via decision.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2014
The close wins are leading some to believe that he has another force helping him out, as the Twitter account Vendetta Fighter hinted at and was retweeted by Henderson:
The scoring system will never be perfect when it comes down to judges having to decide a victor, especially in a sport were so many factors have to be taken into account. But with the situation being what it is, Henderson might want to win a little more decisively if he plans to stay away from further debatable finishes.