UFC 132: Poor Judges' Decisions Blemish Another Tremendous Night of Fights
The books on UFC 132 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada have now come to a close.
A night of tremendous fights include an upset knockout of George Sotiropolous by the Brazilian stand-out Rafael dos Anjos, a potentially career resurrecting submission win by Tito Ortiz over the highly touted Ryan Bader, a flying KO knee executed by Carlos Condit on Dong Hyun Kim and, finally, a five-round battle for the UFC bantamweight title between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.
Arguably the best fight card provided by the UFC over their past five venues, UFC 132 did leave the fans disappointed.
What was disappointing, however, was the consistent level of gross negligence provided by the judges sitting cage-side.
The epidemic of mistakes made by the judges sanctioned by each individual state's athletic commissions is becoming increasingly problematic for mixed martial arts.
Two fights come to mind typifying the issues that the UFC now faces with errors by the judges.
First, the lightweight matchup between Dennis Siver and "Handsome" Matt Wiman was fantastic.
Back and forth action between these two competitors kept the fans on the edge of their seats during the duration of the bout.
The first round was clearly captured by Siver. Delivering a variety of leg kicks and tactical punches, Siver's offense kept Wiman off-balance and prevented "Handsome" from establishing any offense of his own.
Additionally, Wiman's take-down attempts were nullified by Siver's excellent defense, eliminating any chance of "Handsome" winning the round.
The second frame, unlike the first, however, was controlled by Wiman. Taking down Siver early in the round, Wiman delivered savage ground-and-pound for a hellacious period.
Cutting Siver deeply on his head, "Handsome" did more than enough damage to earn a 10-9 decision by all three judges.
The last period was very challenging to declare a clear-cut winner. The action continued back and forth throughout the entire round.
Siver continued to work leg kicks and crisp punching combinations, while Wiman attempted a multiple of submission attempts off of his back.
Without either fighter gaining an absolute advantage in the round, I find it surprising that all three judges awarded the final round to Dennis Siver.
Even though I believe that Dennis Siver won the fight, a split-decision victory would be the more appropriate choice for the German.
The second matchup impacted by the judges' poor duty at cage-side was the main event between the UFC bantamweight champion Dominick "The Dominator" Cruz and "The California Kid" Urijah Faber.
This five-round battle was very close and I do not envy the judges for their duties in this matchup.
With that said, however, the individual judge who scored the bout 50-45 in favor of Cruz either did not watch the entire fight, or is clearly unaware of the dynamics of mixed martial arts.
I believe that Cruz did earn a victory this evening. His movement and elusiveness kept Faber off-balance and "The Dominator" was able to land more volume of strikes and secure more take-downs.
Additionally, because of his relentless movement and non-stop action inside the cage, Cruz would easily have earned the "Octagon control" facet of the scoring system.
With that said, however, Faber repeatedly landed heavy shots that sent the champion reeling. His counter-striking was excellent and his ability to turn the momentum inside the cage at a split notice was overlooked.
Additionally, "The California Kid's" ability to pop back up from a take-down attempt begs the question, was a clean take-down successful by Cruz earning the champion the nod in the grappling department?
Faber clearly earned either Round 2 or 3. Regardless of which round was awarded to "The California Kid," a 50-45 scoring for Dominick Cruz should not have been the outcome.
In hindsight, neither mistake in the judging impacted the end result of the fight. Both Dennis Siver and Dominick Cruz were the victors of their matchups.
What this negligence does do, however, is leave room for skepticism and debate regarding the current judging system utilized within mixed martial arts.
There is a clear disparity of how the individual judges measure a victor for each round and, ultimately, the fight.
This disparity will eventually come back to plague the UFC when a gross misjudgment is made which impacts the outcome of a closely contested battle inside the cage.
I welcome your comments.
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