Hioki clearly controlled the pace of the fight, especially in the first and second round. Omigawa wouldn't quit and had his best round in the third, but it's very surprising that two of the three judges awarded him the fight.
HDNet announcer Guy Mezger referred to it as "highway robbery." I might not go quite that far, but it was a bad decision. According to the translator working the fight on HDNet, Omigawa himself acknowledged afterward that he didn't think he had won.
For Hioki, who entered the fight widely regarded as a Top 5 featherweight and the best featherweight outside the WEC, this is a major disappointment. It's his first loss in more than two years and will certainly cause him to drop in the featherweight rankings, even if few observers think the decision was correct.
For Omigawa, it's another major upset that no one saw coming. When Omigawa entered the Sengoku featherweight tournament at the start of this year, many MMA fans thought he was the worst fighter in the draw. As it turned out, he fought very well in the tournament and made it to the finals, where he lost a split decision to Masanori Kanehara, who was an injury replacement for Hioki.
Omigawa has shown this year that he's a much better fighter than his 8-8-1 record would suggest. But he didn't show on Saturday that he's a better fighter than Hioki. No matter what the judges say, Hioki was the better fighter in that ring.
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