Well Fightstorepro fans, last weekend we had UFC Fight Night 42, which was headlined by two massive lightweight fixtures. We had former Champion Benson Henderson fighting Russian prospect Rustam Khabilov, and we had TUF veteran Diego Sanchez fighting British bulldog Ross Pearson. Benson Finished Khabilov with a submission (RNC) which was Benson’s first win via finish in 4 years, congratulations to Benson especially against such a tough opponent.
Now from the good to the bad; Ross the real deal Pearson put on a fantastic display against Diego Sanchez. He out struck Diego throughout all three rounds, and even out-grappled and dropped Sanchez in round 2. Everyone thought Ross was on his way to a one sided decision victory, and then out of nowhere the judges award the fight to Diego Sanchez.
It has been described as one of the biggest robberies in MMA history, as well as been condemned by nearly every MMA news outlet I have seen. In fact I am yet to meet a single person other than Diego, who scored the fight for Diego, oh and the two judges that picked him over Pearson. Even one judge awarded Diego the decision via 30-27 after Diego was taken down and dropped in round 2 it is just baffling.
What is further baffling is fight metric have released the figures and they also support the fact that Ross Pearson had the only take-down of the fight, more octagon control, and landed more shots. Of course this has sparked a lot of debate over the honesty of the Albuquerque judges and athletic commission. I have seen countless fighters proclaiming their disgust at the decision all over twitter, and we have all been waiting patiently to find out Dana White’s take on the fight. Diego took to twitter to state how he feels he won the fight and that if Ross doesn't like the decision then they can do a rematch over 5 rounds. Now I defended Diego in the fact that it is not his fault that the judges made a bad call on a fight, but I dislike the lack of humility in his ‘victory’.
Dana was not impressed and had this to say "It was horrible," White told ESPN.com. "In the second round, Diego got dropped and one judge still gave him that round. Insanity, man. Pearson got robbed. Pearson won that fight clearly. He easily won that fight. We have to treat Pearson like he won and give him that next level fight. "The thing about our sport is there's never any of that hometown advantage bullshit. Yeah, more people are going to be cheering for you than the other guy, but it's not like the judges are all from that town. Usually, athletic commissions pull the best from around the country. Whoever gave that fight all three rounds to Sanchez should never judge a fight again."
According to New Mexico Athletic Commission representative Richard Espinoza, Pearson's camp filed an appeal of the decision immediately after the bout. The appeal came in too late to be added to a regularly scheduled NMAC meeting Tuesday. Great news for Ross, as this was the last fight on his contract and they will be obviously be renewing his contract and giving him another high level opponent to help him climb the ladder.
I’m glad to see the negative turned to a positive for Ross; however I would hope to see fewer problems like this in the future, especially of this caliber. It is understandable that opinions can differ on a close fight, but this wasn't close it was a one sided defeat, which the home fighter was awarded the win for no apparent reason.
Author: Geoff Stratton