Give the Judges a Break: Guida Did Not Win Round Three!

TimCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

I want to start by saying what a great fight and what a great night of fighting.

When I watched the Sanchez vs. Guida fight live, I saw Sanchez as a clear winner.  I didn’t think it was as close as advertised and I was shocked to see that it was a split decision. 

After seeing some of the postfight commentary about how Guida got robbed, I decided I had to watch the fight again. I hadn’t seen it that way, so I thought I had missed something. 

A lot of the complaints were about the scoring system and how bad the judges were, so that is where I am going to start.

I do understand that there is a problem with the scoring system. A lot of people agree with that, but that fact is the UFC uses a 10-9 scoring system and according to that one, Sanchez won. 

Breakdown of the Fight

I am not going to go into great detail on the first two rounds, let’s just say Round One went to Sanchez (10–8 or 10–9 doesn’t matter for the sake of this argument) and for argument sake, that Round Two goes to Guida. That brings us to Round Three.

Round 3

This round started on the feet and stayed on the feet for almost three and a half minutes. Sanchez had crisper the punches and landed more frequently. Guida did shoot for a takedown, but Sanchez avoided it easily.

I think it would be hard to argue against Sanchez winning the first three and a half minutes of the round. 

Did Guida do enough in the final 90 seconds to take the round from him?

The fight went to the ground with Sanchez in dominant position. Sanchez was on Guida’s back and trying to sink in a choke, Guida slipped out and ended up on top. Still, a takedown for Sanchez.

While on top, Guida was not able to land many strikes. Sanchez sat upright with Guida in his guard and worked a kimura, he struggled with it for a while and was actually able to extend Guida’s are before the attempt was rebuffed.  

At this point the round was almost over. Guida flurried wildly and didn’t land anything.  Sanchez tried for an armbar as time expired.

End Round Three

That sounds like a pretty dominant Round for Sanchez to me. Even with the subjectivity of the judging I don’t see how this round leaves room for interpretation.

Watch the tape if you don’t believe me, that is how it happened. 

So, what did each fighter do in Round Three?


Out-pointed Guida on the feet for three and a half minutes, avoided a takedown, scored a takedown, attempted a choke, and from the bottom attempted a kimura and an armbar.


Unsuccessfully attempted a takedown, was taken down, defended a choke, and had top control (for about 70 seconds) from which he defended a kimura and an armbar while hardly throwing a strike. 

Unless Guida’s 70 seconds of top control, choke defense, and kimura defense is somehow worth more than Sanchez’s superior standup, successful takedown, attempted choke, and attempted kimura, I don’t see how this round could be scored anything but 10-9 Sanchez.

Simply, you don’t give points out for heart or for Guida’s ability to persevere despite being overmatched for much of the fight.


I like Guida, he is extremely fun to watch, and he has a lot of heart.  It is easy to root for a guy like that, but he did not win on Saturday night. For the most part, even when he was on top, Sanchez was the busier fighter (save for a couple wild flurries).

The point is, there are flaws in the judging/scoring system, and some nights, they are more apparent than others, but the right guy won this time. There wasn’t a problem with judging, Sanchez just outperformed Guida on Saturday night. 

Anytime your favorite fighter doesn’t win, don’t automatically peg it on poor judging. 

There are lots of instances where poor judging does come into play,but  this wasn’t one of them. 

Enjoy what was a great fight. Both fighters walked away in good shape and that is a blessing, too. 

Maybe we will get a rematch one day and it won’t come to a decision, but until then, treasure the original.