A spokesperson from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has responded to the widely-panned judging efforts at UFC 247.
UFC 247 was an event that served the purpose of leaving fans with a number of major talking points to delve into upon its conclusion in the late hours of Saturday night.
Of course, the main-event pairing of light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and the rising talent that is Dominick Reyes ended in a particularly divisive fashion – with many people having called the fight in favour of the underdog challenger.
But further down the card, some frankly shocking scorecards were to be found – in particular, the card that saw a 30-27 victory for Andre Ewell against Jonathan Martinez in a fight he clearly struggled in.
It was the sheer number of questionable scorecards on the night that mainly prompted this outburst from the MMA community.
Sure, the Jones/Reyes decision was a divisive one but in truth, the fight was a razor-thin battle that came down to one incredibly close third round.
And that would have been all well and good had one of the cage-side judges not called it as a baffled 49-46 in favour of the long-time champion Jones.
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation spokesperson Tela Mang released the following statement in a response to the overwhelming amount of criticism that was directed towards the judges after last weekend’s event.
“As in all athletic events, athletes, teams, judges, fans and media representatives can – and often do – have differing opinions about what happened in a combative sports match.
“TDLR applauds the passion everyone is exhibiting about this sport. Comments have been made about the selection of the judges and the referees. In selecting ringside officials, TDLR takes into consideration recommendations made by UFC.
“As with all events, TDLR works closely with UFC and other promoters to ensure the quality and experience of referees and judges to protect the health and safety of the fighters.”
One notable section of the event’s broadcast showed colour-commentator Joe Rogan expressing his shock as he watched who he assumed to be one of the three commission judges seemingly ignoring the action inside the cage as it transpired.
In relation to this, Mang went on to explain how the judge in question was simply following the action through their supplied monitor – hence the confusion.
“Claims have been made that a judge was not paying attention to the fight and was looking down at the floor.
“One of the advances that UFC has made in the past several years has been to provide small video monitors below the floor level of the octagon for each judge to more closely monitor matches.”
It’s hard to know how much these statements will succeed as far as damage control is concerned but at this point, it’s hard to imagine that the UFC will be jumping at the opportunity to host another major title fight on Texan soil any time soon.