One of the major talking points coming out of UFC 131 was judging. UFC president Dana White paid Michihiro Omigawa his win bonus despite the fact that the judges ruled Darren Elkins had defeated him via unanimous decision. He also took the time after the event to voice his displeasure, once again, on the state of judging in MMA.
“It’s getting to the point now where I don’t even know what to say any more," White said after the event. "Fans get pissed off and I get pissed off because these guys are hurting the fighters. It screws your record, it screws up your money, it screws up your legacy, everything, guys getting losses that shouldn’t have losses."
Jonathan Tweedale, an official for the Vancouver Athletic Commission, released the following statement to NBCSports.com regarding the controversial judging of Elkins-Omigawa at UFC 131.
"In the first round, Elkins backed Omigawa up with punches the entire round. He controlled the center of the cage. He was throwing a lot more shots, and landing more -- and in combination. If there is any controversy as to the outcome of the fight it must be because of the second round. That was a very challenging round to score. An argument can be made in favour of either fighter. Elkins landed more punches.
"At one point, when Omigawa came forward, he was stopped dead in his tracks by Elkins’ combination punches, and at another point he was slightly buckled. Due to Omigawa’s unusual stance and balance, it was difficult to tell exactly whether he was rocked by some of these shots. However, you could see Omigawa’s leg bend, and the control shift to Elkins as he landed the combo, stopping Omigawa in his tracks, taking the center of the cage, and going on the attack again. These sequences, as well as the total effective strikes landed, could reasonably warrant awarding the round to Elkins. Elkins didn’t land many more than Omigawa, but he did land more. (The Fightmetric numbers agree.) As to the blood – it represents something, but a cut can be caused by a glancing blow and some fighters just cut more readily than others.
"That’s a round about which reasonable people can disagree. Close rounds like Round 2 of Omigawa vs Elkins serve as useful examples for discussion, to assist in refining and evolving the community’s understanding of the scoring criteria, generally. And that is a good thing for the sport."
According to FightMetric.com, Elkins landed 35 of 107 strikes in round 1, 37 of 122 in round 2 and 7 of 60 in round 3. While Omigawa landed 19 of 44 in round 1, 26 of 56 in round 2 and 32 of 58 in round 3.
The win improved Elkins' record to 12-2, while Omigawa fell to 12-10-1.
UFC President Dana White (above) embarrassed after Gray Maynard beat Clay Guida by split decision to win a lightweight bout and the main event of the UFC card in Atlantic City.
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