UFC 204 wasn't without judging controversy in the main event, but now there's another -- and more egregious-- situation.
In the first fight of the night, a lightweight division bout between Adriano Martins and Leonardo Santos, judge Jeff Mullen was not at his required seat for the bout. He was sitting in the front row of the arena judging the bout, UFC Senior VP Of Government & Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, put Mullen in his correct seat for the second and third rounds.
The UFC did issue a statement on the situation.
At the UFC 204 event on Oct. 8 in Manchester, England, a judge was not in the proper judge’s chair during the first round of the Adriano Martins vs. Leonardo Santos bout,” the statement reads. “Judge Jeff Mullen was seated in the first row of the commission seating area and was observing the bout. Upon noticing that Judge Mullen was not in his appropriate seat at the end of round 1, Marc Ratner, UFC Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, asked Mullen if he believed that he could adequately score the round from his vantage point. Judge Mullen confirmed that he had observed the entire round and that he could appropriately score the round. As a result, Mullen filled out his judge’s scorecard for round 1 and took his appropriate judge’s seat to observe and score the remaining two rounds of the bout. After the conclusion of the bout, all three of the judges’ scorecards were tallied, and the decision was announced. Although the bout resulted in a split decision for Santos, it is important to note that all three of the judges scored the first round 10-9 in favor of Santos. In order to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future, UFC has reviewed its protocol for starting any and all bouts that occur in territories that do not have an applicable athletic commission or federation.
Upon learning about this judging snafu, Martins' manager called for the fight to be changed to a no contest. Santos lost the fight via decision
“With all due respect to Santos and Nova Uniao, it was such a close fight that anything that judge missed, a single kick or punch, could change the result of the fight,” Davis said. “There is a protocol in place, and if the judge isn’t where he’s supposed to be at cageside, the fight should be considered a no contest.”
Since the event was held in the United Kingdom, it was an event in which the UFC self-regulates. They have not issued a statement or a ruling yet on whether the result of the fight will be changed.
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