Judgment in MMA: Which Fights Could Be Finished in Another Way?

By in People & Places

Monday 30th October 2017

In most cases, the winner of an MMA fight is the one that manages to knock-out their opponent or lands the most hits. However, there are some fights where fighters win with the, conscious or unconscious, help of the judges. No matter if it comes from misjudgment or some other influences, these decisions can really change the trajectory of a fighter. A wrong judge decision while a fighter is on the rise can really affect their career and morale in irreversible ways. We’ve made a list of 5 such fights and their outcome.

Sean Sherk vs. Evan Dunham

The fight itself was a really entertaining one, the fighters putting on quite a show for the audience. But everyone in the room and those who watched the game on TV can easily agree that the one that stole the show was Dunham.  Well, not according to the judge Tony Weeks that saw Sherk as a winner even though all he managed to accomplish was an elbow that cut open Dunham’s arcade. It’s no wonder that the crowd was booing furiously when the decision was announced.

Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill

Another example of a fight with a very unexpected judge decision. Even though after re-watching the match, the decision seems a bit more reasonable, the difference was made in rounds 2 and 3. Since the first round was totally Hamill’s, the second round was way more balanced and Bisping actually managed to get back in the game. Now, the really tricky part for the judge Cecil Peoples came in the third round when Hamill dominated from a positional point of view. And even though Michael also managed to score some hits using Hamill’s fatigue, everyone was surprised to hear that the decision favored Bisping. Judging by the first and final round, the winner should’ve been Hamill for sure, however, judges had other things in mind.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall

The fuss around this fight did not necessarily come from a wrong decision of judge Troy Waugh but rather from a huge tallying error that was eventually corrected. Even so, the judges that initially awarded the win to Johnson, discovered that the correct result was a draw. And instead of giving the fans the pleasure of a fourth round to decide the winner, they ended it with the win of Demetrious.

Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz

The fight between Condit and Diaz needs no introduction, being famous for one of the most controversial decisions in the entire MMA history. Everyone was shocked to hear that Condit won the fight even though all he did was evade Diaz’s punches and score on the back foot. Now, even if it’s a matter of aggression or not, it is clear that Diaz lead the game from round 1 to 5 but, somehow, referee Steve Mazzagatti considered that Condit’s score was better.

BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar

The fight between the two athletes seemed like an uneven one from the start because Edgar wasn’t seen as much of a threat for Penn’s title. Even so, the rounds were extremely tight with Penn landing heavier shots but Edgar scored with a lot of combinations on the retreat.  The most controversial part of the match refereed by Herb Dean was the fact that one judge saw Edgar as the winner of each round even though he was mainly defending.

In sport, both sportsmen and fans usually expect fair judgment but it is not always perfect since judges are people too who can make mistakes which leads to rather controversial results of MMA fights some of which we described in this article.