Both Barboza and his camp believe that he won the fight, which is why they are appealing the loss at UFC 242.
“It’s a question of principle,” Barboza’s manager in Alex Davis told MMA Junkie. “There’s something called motivated reasoning, and as human beings, we are incapable of giving a fair evaluation of something we have an emotional attachment to. I understand that, and I’m really careful about what I say after fights until I watch them again, until I calm down and look at it. In this case, not only myself but it seems the whole world sees this in the same way I do. Now, I do not mean any disrespect for Paul Felder, who I love as a person and a fighter, or his camp. They’re great guys, but the truth is that the world saw Edson winning, and what really makes it obvious that something’s wrong is when you have the situation – and even Paul Felder’s camp agrees with this point – when you have one judge scoring it 30-27 for one fighter, and another judge scores it 30-27 for the other fighter, something is obviously wrong.”
Since the event was held in Abu Dhabi, where there is no athletic commission, so any appeals would have to be heard through the UFC itself.
Davis believes that Barboza’s appeal could also help the sport move forward and evolve the structure of it.
“This really has a negative impact on Edson’s career,” Davis said. “That’s the big issue. Think about what happens to Edson’s career now when he takes a loss that he didn’t deserve. That turn is really, really dramatic. We need to make an effort to get better. We need to make an effort to change. We need to make an effort to discuss. We’re in a medium that does not discuss. All way do is trashtalk, and all we’re looking at is promoting. We’re not looking at evolving the structure of the sport.”
The scorecards for the fight saw one judge score it 30-27 for Barboza, while the rest scored it 29-28 and 30-27 for Felder.