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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Using a combined measurement of media and fan scoring percentages, MMAdecisions.com has compiled a list of 2020's most disputed decisions:

2020's Most Disputed Decisions
Agreement with Winner
# Fight Media Fans Avg. Winner's Judges Other Judge Notes
1Murphy def. Lee0%6%3%Dealejandro, PatlanLeeDealejandro had 30-27
2Ewell def. Martinez0%10%13%Soliz, DealejandroFerraroSoliz had 30-27
3Ige def. Barboza11%12%12%Cleary, D'AmatoWincapawHome-country decision
4Salikhov def. Zaleski dos Santos13%14%13%Bosacki, WernerLethabyBosacki had 30-27
5McKenna def. Hansen13%26%19%Cleary, D'Amato, Lee-Away-country decision
6Paiva def. Zhumagulov20%22%21%Bosacki, Cartlidge, Paolillo--
7Ziam def. Mullarkey12%33%22%Cartlidge, Ransom, Werner--
8Gadelha def. Hill24%24%24%Lee, TirelliD'AmatoAway-country decision
9Moises def. Green27%25%26%Cleary, D'Amato, Hagen--
10Zaleski dos Santos def. Kunchenko33%19%26%Bravo, D'Amato, Terrell-Home-country decision

UPDATE: Ewell vs. Martinez was moved from #4 to #2 on the list after it was pointed out that MMA Junkie scored the fight for Martinez and not Ewell as originally recorded.

Honourable Mentions:

Of note:

  • By the measurement used in this list, Murphy/Lee was the most disputed decision since Lauzon/Held in 2017.
  • Though there were others on the list with more appearances, Danny Dealejandro's two entries were noteworthy. He only rendered 3 UFC decisions all year, yet two of those decisions were in the top four of the year's most disputed.
  • At the same event in Houston, Joe Soliz rendered disputed scorecards in the 5th and 11th most disputed bouts of the year, including the hotly discussed 49-46 Jon Jones card in his title fight against Dominick Reyes. Soliz also submitted scorecards in just three UFC fights all year.
  • Sal D'Amato and Derek Cleary made the most appearances on this year's list, but they also submitted the most UFC scorecards for the year (77 and 65 decisions, respectively).
  • For the second straight year, the judge with the most completed UFC scorecards without an appearance in the top ten is Michael Bell. He added 58 decisions to his UFC tally in 2020. That makes a remarkable 96 UFC decisions in the last two years without an entry on this list.
  • Six of the top ten fights occurred at just three events: UFC 247 in Houston, UFC on ESPN 8 in Jacksonville, and UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
  • Five of the top ten fights were unanimous decisions. In previous years, there have never been more than four unanimous decisions in the top ten.
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos was the only fighter on the list twice: once on the winning side and once on the losing side. He is the first fighter to appear in the top ten twice in the same year.

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 at least two-thirds of the tracked media scores disagreed with the actual winner AND decisions in which at least 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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