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Monday, January 13, 2020

Derek Cleary returned to the top of the list of the busiest UFC judges in 2019. He supplanted Sal D'Amato, who dropped into the second slot. Cleary and D'Amato have swapped the title of the busiest UFC judge each of the past four years.

Third busiest belonged to Chris Lee in 2019. In each year since 2011, Lee has been one of the top four active UFC judges.

Michael Bell moved up from number six to number four from the previous year, significantly increasing his total scorecard count. Bell was also one of the year's busiest non-UFC judges, travelling abroad to many Bellator events.

Returning to the list in 2019 after a one-year absence was Eric Colon, slotting in at the number 5 slot. And back after a 5-year absence is English judge Mark Collett, reentering in the number seven position.


Making his debut on the 2019 list is California-based judge Ron McCarthy. Finishing in a tie for ninth, McCarthy may be best known as the son of Bellator color commentator and former referee "Big" John McCarthy.

Dropping off the list from the previous year: Dave Hagen, Marcos Rosales, Glenn Trowbridge and Douglas Crosby.

Busiest UFC Judges of 2019 *
# Judge Events** Decisions
1Derek Cleary2063
2Sal D'Amato1958
3Chris Lee1542
4Michael Bell1038
5Eric Colon1030
6Dave Tirelli928
7Mark Collett824
8Guilherme Bravo522
9Ron McCarthy620
-Tony Weeks620
* - Not including fights stopped before decision
** - Not including worked events in which a full scorecard was not submitted

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Using a combined measurement of media and fan scoring percentages, MMAdecisions.com has compiled a list of 2019's most disputed decisions:



2019's Most Disputed Decisions
Agreement with Winner
# Fight Media Fans Avg. Winner's Judges Other Judge Notes
1Sakai def. Arlovski0%9%4%Lee, WincapawCleary-
2Lopez def. Morales0%12%6%Grice, Rosales, Vieira--
3Hernandez def. Trinaldo15%7%11%Carrion, Rosales, Garcia-Home-country decision;
Carrion, Rosales: 30-27
4Alves def. Griffin11%11%11%Bravo, PontesBellHome-country decision
5Henderson def. Piccolotti0%24%12%Maness, RosalesGuingonaOnly non-UFC decision
6Kenney def. Borg17%10%13%Brogan, Colflesh, Colon-Colon: 30-27
7Anders def. Meerschaert13%14%14%Olney, WeeksCleary-
8Holland def. Di Chirico21%7%14%D'Amato, JamesLee
9Ivanov def. Rothwell13%19%16%Champion, Cleary, D'Amato-Away-country decision
10Oezdemir def. Rakic13%26%19%Collett, DimitrouField-

Honourable Mentions:


Of note:

  • Three events yielded decisions that qualified for this year's list (including honourable mentions): UFC on ESPN 2 (Pittsburgh), UFC on ESPN+ 13 (Sacramento), and UFC on ESPN 4 (San Antonio).
  • None of the year's top ten entries occurred at a pay-per-view event.
  • 2019 was the first year in which four of the top ten decisions were unanimous.
  • The year's tough-luck fighter has to be Gerald Meerschaert. He was the loser in the #7 and #11 most disputed decisions of the year.
  • Kevin Holland was the only fighter who was on the winning side of two of the year's qualified fights (including honourable mentions): #8 and #11.
  • Marcos Rosales submitted scorecards for the winner in three of the top five fights on this year's list, and one of the honourable mentions. Rosales was the 20th most active judge in UFC decisions in 2019, submitting completed scorecards in 9 total UFC fights.
  • The judge with the most UFC scorecards without an appearance in the top ten is Michael Bell. He added 38 decisions to his UFC tally in 2019. It is also worth noting that none of the three busier judges (Derek Cleary, Sal D'Amato and Chris Lee), had more than one entry in the year's top ten list.

Home-Country Decisions*

"Home-Country Decisions", by definition, are those fights in which the winner hailed from the country in which the fight was held and his/her opponent was from another country. Conversely, if the loser was from the event's country and his/her opponent was from elsewhere, the fight was marked as an "away-country decision".


* - Marking these fights as such does not imply that the judges held a geographical bias of any sort; it is merely an objective observation.

Selection Criteria

  • Only decisions in which more than two-thirds of the tracked media scores disagreed with the actual winner AND decisions in which more than two-thirds of the submitted fan scorecards disagreed with the actual winner were included.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 6 media scores.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 15 fan scorecards.
  • Only fights from Bellator, Cage Warriors, Invicta, KSW, World Series of Fighting and the UFC were considered.

Sources of Bias

There are several possible sources of bias that could have affected the members and order of this list. Those sources include:

  • Loser Bias: Fans who disagree with the outcome are more likely to submit a scorecard than those who are content with the decision.
  • Geographical Bias (Fans): Sometimes certain countries generate more traffic than others, which could lead to a bias in fan voting.
  • Geographical Bias (Media): The media scorecards tracked on this site are predominantly submitted by US-based media members.
  • Small Sample Size: with thresholds set at 6 media members and 15 fan scorecards, it is quite possible that those small thresholds could yield results that vary significantly from the general MMA populace.
  • UFC Bias: Because of the dearth of media and fan scores in other organizations, very few non-UFC decisions meet the thresholds for consideration.
Sunday, August 04, 2019

It has been over five years since MMAdecisions.com has examined the causes of draws in the UFC, so let's take an updated look.

To set the table, there are relatively few draws in MMA fights because with an uneven number of rounds, if all judges score all rounds 10-9 (without point deductions), then it is impossible for the result to be a draw. Consequently, there are three primary reasons why an MMA fight would end in a draw:

  • There was at least one 10-8 round scored in the fight
  • There was at least one 10-10 round scored in the fight
  • There was a point deducted by the referee for a foul

The time frame from 2016-2017 saw the greatest frequency of draws, with 12 occurring in the UFC during that period. However, there have only been two since, and none so far in 2019.

Of the 29 fights on the list, 16 were caused by 10-8 rounds, 10 were caused by point deductions, and 4 were caused by 10-10 rounds. (Note that one fight was caused by both a 10-10 round and a 10-8 round, so it was double counted)

Causes of Modern-Era UFC Draws *
Date Event Fight Draw Type Cause
2018-11-03 UFC 230 M Frevola vs. L Vannata Majority 10-8 round
2018-09-22 UFC Fight Night 137 M Rodriguez vs. R Markos Majority 10-8 round
2017-12-30 UFC 219 M Vettori vs. O Akhmedov Majority 10-8 round
2017-12-01 TUF 26 Finale D Bennett vs. M Fabian Majority Point Deduction
2017-10-07 UFC 216 L Vannata vs. B Green Split Point Deduction
2017-10-07 UFC 216 B Dariush vs. E Dunham Majority 10-8 round
2017-03-11 UFC Fight Night 106 M Reneau vs. B Correia Majority 10-8 round
2016-11-12 UFC 205 T Woodley vs. S Thompson Majority 10-8 round
2016-09-17 UFC Fight Night 94 A Morales vs. A Perez Majority Point Deduction
2016-09-03 UFC Fight Night 93 C Colombo vs. J Danho Majority Point Deduction
2016-07-30 UFC 201 M Graves vs. B Velickovic Majority 10-8 round
2016-06-04 UFC 199 K Casey vs. E Mutapcic Split 10-8 round
2016-05-14 UFC 198 S Moraes vs. L Chagas Split 10-8 round
2016-01-30 UFC on Fox 18 D Jackson vs. L Makashvili Majority Point Deduction
2015-10-24 UFC Fight Night 76 D Till vs. N Dalby Majority 10-8 round
2015-09-27 UFC Fight Night 75 T Ishihara vs. M Hirota Split 10-10 round
2014-03-23 UFN 38 N Parke vs. L Santos Majority Point Deduction
2013-12-07 UFN 33 A Silva vs. M Hunt Majority 10-8 round
2012-06-23 UFC 147 F Arantes vs. M Vieira Split 10-8 round
2012-03-03 UFC on FX 2 D Johnson vs. I McCall Majority 10-8 & 10-10 rounds
2011-02-27 UFC 127 J Fitch vs. BJ Penn Majority 10-8 round
2011-01-01 UFC 125 F Edgar vs. G Maynard Split 10-8 round
2010-12-11 UFC 124 R Natal vs. J Bongfeldt Majority 10-8 round
2010-10-16 UFC 120 T Browne vs. C Kongo Unanimous Point Deduction
2010-01-11 UFN 20 T Tavares vs. N Lentz Majority Point Deduction
2009-11-21 UFC 106 C Uno vs. F Camões Majority Point Deduction
2007-07-07 UFC 73 R Evans vs. T Ortiz Unanimous Point Deduction
2003-06-06 UFC 43 V White vs. I Freeman Split 10-10 round
2003-02-28 UFC 41 BJ Penn vs. C Uno Split 10-10 round
* - As of August 4th, 2019

Notes

  • Caol Uno, BJ Penn, and Lando Vannata have been involved in two UFC draws.
  • Ken Shamrock fought to two time-limit draws in SEG-era UFC fights.
  • There was only 1 UFC draw between June 6, 2003 and November 20, 2009.
Sunday, March 03, 2019

Another year has come and gone, and once again it was Sal D'Amato who tops the year's list of the busiest UFC judges. D'Amato also led this list in 2013, 2015 and 2017.

In second place is another stalwart on the UFC judging scene, Chris Lee, who submitted completed scorecards in 59 UFC decisions in 2018.

Rounding out the podium is Derek Cleary, who remains a cageside fixture at UFC events. 2016's busiest judge tallied a total of 44 UFC scorecards in 2018.

Last year's second busiest judge, Jeff Mullen, did not record a scorecard tracked on MMAdecisions.com in 2018.


New to the top 10 list in 2018 were American west coast judges Dave Hagen and Michael Bell, plus Brazilian judges Guilherme Bravo, none of whom had made the list previously. Also added to the list in 2018 were veterans Glenn Trowbridge and Douglas Crosby.

In addition to Mullen, those dropping off the list in 2018 were British judge Ben Cartlidge and Paul Sutherland, plus American east coast judge Eric Colón.

Busiest UFC Judges of 2018 *
# Judge Events** Decisions
1Sal D'Amato2169
2Chris Lee2059
3Derek Cleary1744
4Dave Hagen821
5Marcos Rosales720
6Michael Bell716
-Dave Tirelli616
8Tony Weeks515
-Guilherme Bravo615
10Glenn Trowbridge616
-Douglas Crosby615
* - Not including fights stopped before decision
** - Not including worked events in which a full scorecard was not submitted

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Using a combined measurement of media and fan scoring percentages, MMAdecisions.com has compiled a list of the 2018's most disputed decisions:



2018's Most Disputed Decisions
Agreement with Winner
# Fight Media Fans Avg. Winner's Judges Other Judge Notes
1Khabilov def. Johnson8%8%8%Cartlidge, MotylewskiLethabyHome-country decision
2Moraes def. Means7%12%10%Iorio, WeeksRosalesHome-country decision
3Nurmagomedov def. Scoggins0%23%11%Hagen, RosalesMikkelsonAway-country decision
4Ottow def. Grant8%16%12%Lee, WinterPuccillo-
5Ray def. Ayari8%25%17%Doiron, Earle, LeBlanc-Earle had 30-27
6Waterson def. Casey6%29%17%Flores, HagenD'Amato-
7Till def. Thompson12%28%20%Collett, Roberts, Sutherland-Home-country decision
8Yoder def. Cooper12%29%20%Cleary, ThrasherVan Tine
9Perez def. Wineland13%29%21%Hagen, Mikkelson, Weeks-Away-country decision
10Kim def. Kish27%16%21%Elliott, UrsoD'AmatoAway-country decision

Honourable Mentions:


Of note:

  • The year's most disputed decision, Johnson vs. Khabilov, would not have topped the list if it had occurred in any of the previous 5 years.
  • Though none of his fights cracked the top ten, Dennis Bermudez may feel the most aggrieved of any fighter in 2018. He lost two fights by split decision in which both the fans and the media collectively agreed that he should have won. Dating back to 2017, this marks three straight split decision losses for "The Menace" in which he was favoured by the media scorers.
  • If our boxing fights were included on this list, the Canelo vs. Golovkin rematch would have been the 4th most disputed decision of the year.
  • American-born fighters seemed to get the short end of the stick this year. Four of the top 10 fights involved a non-American-born fighter defeating an American-born fighter, but there were no fights with the opposite scenario.
  • Dave Hagen submitted scorecards for the winner in three of the ten fights on this year's list. Hagen was the 4th most active judge in UFC decisions in 2018, submitting completed scorecards in 21 total UFC fights.
  • For the second straight year, Sal D'Amato submitted more UFC scorecards than any other judge and also avoided siding with the winner in any fight on this list. D'Amato has achieved this feat in 3 of the last 4 years.

Home-Country Decisions*

"Home-Country Decisions", by definition, are those fights in which the winner hailed from the country in which the fight was held and his/her opponent was from another country. Conversely, if the loser was from the event's country and his/her opponent was from elsewhere, the fight was marked as an "away-country decision".


* - Marking these fights as such does not imply that the judges held a geographical bias of any sort; it is merely an objective observation.

Selection Criteria

  • Only decisions in which more than two-thirds of the tracked media scores disagreed with the actual winner AND decisions in which more than two-thirds of the submitted fan scorecards disagreed with the actual winner were included.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 6 media scores.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 15 fan scorecards.
  • Draws were excluded.
  • Only fights from Bellator, Cage Warriors, Invicta, KSW, World Series of Fighting and the UFC were considered.

Sources of Bias

There are several possible sources of bias that could have affected the members and order of this list. Those sources include:

  • Loser Bias: Fans who disagree with the outcome are more likely to submit a scorecard than those who are content with the decision.
  • Geographical Bias (Fans): Sometimes certain countries generate more traffic than others, which could lead to a bias in fan voting.
  • Geographical Bias (Media): The media scorecards tracked on this site are predominantly submitted by US-based media members.
  • Small Sample Size: with thresholds set at 6 media members and 15 fan scorecards, it is quite possible that those small thresholds could yield results that vary significantly from the general MMA populace.
  • UFC Bias: Because of the dearth of media and fan scores in other organizations, very few non-UFC decisions meet the thresholds for consideration.

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