Judges’ controversial decisions have always been a negative aspect of combat sports. Recently, in two important bouts, the main event at Bellator 289 in Uncasville and the co-main event at UFC 282 in Las Vegas, judges gave debatable decisions that resulted in huge upsets in the MMA arena.
The first event that earned huge attention for contentious decisions was the main event fight of Bellator 289 between Raufeon Stots and Danny Sabatello. Mohegan Athletic Department Director of Athletics Mike Mazzulli wrote in a prepared statement about the clash:
“In the last Bellator event [December 9, 2022], there was a controversy in the Sabatello vs. Stots fight. After reviewing the fight, three rounds of the five rounds were extremely close, and the other two were marginally close rounds.”
The 50-45 Sabatello scorecard in last night's Bellator main event was the very first 50-45 scorecard in favour of the loser ever recorded in our database. @ekc
— MMADecisions.com (@MMADecisions) December 10, 2022
Mazzulli pointed out that one judge had favored Sabaleta in all five rounds of the fight, which was not the case for the other judges.
“One judge had Sabatello winning all five rounds, which is controversial. But ultimately, Stots won the decision, which is the correct result. In an effort to make this a learning moment, I have informed all three judges we will be reviewing the fight together.”
Doug Crosby rendered the contentious decision, and even though Sabaleta lost the bout, he was awarded the record scorecard for a loser. Crosby was again appointed as a judge for the co-main event of UFC 282, and again the judges produced yet another controversial decision on December 10.
#UFC282 Official Scorecard: Paddy Pimblett vs Jared Gordon 👇
— UFC News (@UFCNews) December 11, 2022
The media got furious this time and referred to the decision as a daylight robbery. It seems the athletic commission is not happy with these injustices happening in the MMA arena, and they are planning to suspend the judges if they are found guilty after a fair inquiry.
“This is a very serious situation. The Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department always looks out for the best interests of all fighters. In the past, the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department has sanctioned officials that are not performing to the level that is required. Such sanctions, when they occur, are not made public.”