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chris@mmadecisions.com
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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