Fabio Maldonado came close to finishing Fedor Emelianenko in the main event of Fight Night Global 50 on Friday night, and his team isn’t happy with the majority decision loss in St. Petersburg, Russia.
One judge scored the contest a draw (28-28), while two others saw it 29-28 in favor of Emelianenko, scoring the first round a 10-9 in Maldonado’s favor despite the fact that the Brazilian almost knocked the legendary heavyweight out.
Maldonado’s manager Stefano Sartori released a statement to MMA Fighting revealing that they will appeal the "strange" loss to Russian MMA Union, which assigned the judges -- and is headed by Emelianenko.
We're very happy with Fabio’s performance, he made everything right inside the cage. One of our main goals was to show the world the fighter he truly is and what he can do when he is 100% focused, and we did that. But we went there focused on winning and we feel like the judges took that away from us. The promoters didn't agree with the result and most of the fighters who were there also think the result was strange.
Round 1 was clearly a 10-8 for us, Round 2 Fedor got a close 10-9 and round 3 was very close but we think Maldonado got the better shots. It was a least a draw, and we will appeal to Russian MMA Union to review this result.
Hours after the bout, Maldonado spoke with MMA Fighting and said that a draw was "the worst-case scenario."
"I have the utmost respect for Fedor, he’s the most humble fighter I’ve ever met in my life, and I’m happy that I fought here. But I think I won the fight, right?" Maldonado said. "I didn’t lose that third round. In the worst-case scenario, give him the third round and it’s a draw. He didn’t win that fight. Judges saw what nobody else did. He was better in the second round, but that was not a 10-8. And I have no doubt the first round was a 10-8.
"For the love of God, he almost fell several times. Everybody knows (the first round) was at least 10-8, or even a 10-7. He punched me close to the fence, but I was there because I really wanted him to attack."