After five rounds of action at UFC San Antonio on Saturday night, the winner was unmistakably Cory Sandhagen over Marlon Vera. The Elevation Fight Team fighter had dominated the bulk of the five rounds, outstriking, out-wrestling, and out-grappling his opponent.
The whole arena was shocked when the judgment sounded.
The only thing that counts is that Sandhagen’s hand was raised at the end of the fight, and he did that, but the fight was decided by a split decision after local judge Joel Ojeda scored it a bizarre 48-47 for Marlon Vera, when the vast majority of spectators and commentators had the fight at a clear 50-45 or 49-46 for Vera. In UFC, unexpected outcomes are parring for the course. In a sport that consists of only a few rounds and uses a somewhat archaic 10-point must-system that was adapted from boxing, even minute differences in judgment from one round to the next have the potential to cause significant shifts in the overall outcome. But even by that measure, it seemed like a completely irrational deviation from the norm.
Gilbert Burns is frustrated with the contentious issues that have been plaguing mixed martial arts (MMA), and he has revealed the most effective method that he believes the issue can be resolved.
After the bizarre scorecards that were turned in following the main event of the UFC San Antonio show that took place over the weekend in Texas, the fifth-ranked welterweight contender wants the FBI to get involved in the judging of mixed martial arts competitions.
Even Dana White, President of the UFC, acknowledged that the score was “pretty scary.” Isn’t there something “scary” about that?
“I think this judge needs to be investigated,” Burns told TMZ Sports. “We need the FBI on this judge. Because those judges may be working with the betting company, getting a third person to bet. I just think it’s not real, I think those guys are being dirty and maybe try to get money out of this. Chito’s my guy and I want him to win, but there’s no way he won that fight. It’s clear to anyone. What’s wrong with that judge? It’s not the first time. What bothers me is that it doesn’t stop. We have to do something or I dunno, nothing changes.”
Perhaps the federal authorities will turn their attention to Ojeda once they have finished their investigation in and out of Fedor.
The UFC has a long history of betting controversies, some of which have involved the FBI. James Krause, a former fighter for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, was kicked out of the company after allegations of fight tampering surfaced toward the end of last year. According to reports, Krause was conspiring with an offshore betting business. Because of that incident, changes were made across the business, beginning with the UFC and the athletes who compete for it.
It is now a huge question if UFC will follow the advice of the fighter and bring the FBI fully in issues that concern judgments in the MMA. Could that be too much of a distraction, though? Nothing but time will tell.