What's Buzzing:

Cagewriter

Poor judging rears ugly head at UFC Fight Night

Cagewriter

Diego Sanchez had earned every decibel of the raucous ovation he received Saturday night while being introduced to his home-town crowd in Albuquerque, NM on the undercard of UFC Fight Night. The winner of the first ever Ultimate Fighter season put his city on the map as an MMA powerhouse as it had been for boxing for decades before, and the future hall of famer was as amped to bring the UFC to his town for the first time as his friends, family and fans were to see him take on Ross Pearson.

Sanchez had earned the right to soak in those cheers before the opening bell but then did nothing to deserve the whacky scores that gave him a controversial decision win over Pearson after the final horn had sounded. Make no mistake about it – Saturday’s lightweight hilt between Sanchez and Pearson was no star-making barn-burner for either man, but it was certainly a fight that the British fighter deserved to win over the home-town hero.

Pearson rocked Sanchez in the first round. Pearson floored Sanchez with a right hand, cut his face up and took him down with a trip in the second.

Pearson clearly got the better of every round yet, two judges scored the fight for Sanchez. One judge even scored all three rounds for “The Nightmare,” meaning that they watched Sanchez get dropped and taken down in the second round, mount no meaningful grappling or striking offense of his own and still somehow felt that the TUF veteran did enough to win the stanza.

Simply put, the judging of the fight was inexcusably bad. What’s worse, because Sanchez was fighting in a historic bout in his home city, the horrendous scores gave the appearance of home-town favoritism.

As of now, it’s unknown what the New Mexico athletic commission, or any other where the judges do work, will do to investigate the decision. Ross Pearson’s camp reportedly intends to file an appeal.

Few things are more damaging to fight sports than the existence or even appearance of corruption. Of course, as of now, there is no actual evidence to suggest that abysmal scoring of Pearson vs. Sanchez is the result of anything but poor judging.

However, incompetence paired with circumstance (in this case, the home-town fighter getting the nod his opponent clearly deserved instead) can still leave a bad taste in fans’ mouths. This one will taste bitter for a while.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter

View Comments (210)
  • Corey Perry to captain Team Canada at hockey world championships

    Two-time Olympic gold medallist Corey Perry has been named the captain of the Canadian men's hockey team at the IIHF World Championship. Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O'Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres will be the Anaheim forward's … More »

    The Canadian Press - 15 minutes ago
  • Newcastle terminate Obertan and Marveaux contracts

    Winger Gabriel Obertan and midfielder Sylvain Marveaux have left Newcastle United by mutual consent, the club said. The Magpies decided to release the French duo, whose contracts were due to expire this summer, as they were unlikely to feature in … More »

    Reuters - 45 minutes ago
  • Cazorla hands Wenger fitness boost before Man City trip

    Cazorla hands Wenger fitness boost before Man City trip

    Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has returned to fitness after a five-month injury layoff, handing manager Arsene Wenger a late-season boost before Sunday's away clash with Manchester City. The 31-year-old Spain international played an hour for the … More »

    Reuters - 46 minutes ago
  • Australia rule out Cooper's Sevens selection for Rio

    Australia rule out Cooper's Sevens selection for Rio

    Quade Cooper's Olympic dreams were dashed on Thursday when the former Wallabies flyhalf was ruled out of selection for Australia's Rugby Sevens side at this year's Rio Games. Capped 58 times, Cooper was part of the Wallabies squad that finished … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago
  • Australia rule out Cooper's Sevens selection

    Australia rule out Cooper's Sevens selection

    Quade Cooper's Olympic dreams were dashed on Thursday when the former Wallabies flyhalf was ruled out of selection for Australia's Rugby Sevens side at this year's Rio Games. Capped 58 times, Cooper was part of the Wallabies squad that finished … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 6 minutes ago