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chris@mmadecisions.com
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.

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