While there were plenty of controversies to go around at UFC 208, one of the biggest was the scoring in the co-main event bout between former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson.
Silva won the contest, capturing unanimous scorecards from all three judges cageside in Brooklyn. However, many fans and media members online believed the bout should’ve been scored for Brunson, and they were not alone.
“I had Brunson,” UFC president Dana White said on Saturday night’s FOX Sports 1 post-fight show. “I actually had the fight 1-1 going into the third round, and I gave the third round to Brunson.”
Silva in the UFC 208 post-fight press conference said he felt like he won two out of the three rounds against Brunson, although Brunson clearly disagreed. Just minutes after the fight, Brunson voiced his frustration on social media, calling the decision “unreal” and stating that he “outclassed the greatest of all time” only to “get it taken” away from him by the judges in New York.
Both fighters were emotional in the aftermath of the bout.
The victory marked Silva’s first official win since his 2012 romp over Stephan Bonnar and snapped the worst slump of the 41-year-old legend’s career. But Brunson, on the other hand, saw any of his leftover momentum from his four-fight UFC knockout streak come to an unfortunate end, and his paycheck cut in half due to the UFC’s show/win purse system.
“Brunson sent me a text,” White said. “He’s obviously very upset, and you know, he said, ‘listen, this is how I support my family. And now I won’t get my win bonus when I feel like I won the fight.’ But it’s one of those things, man. I say it all the time. If you don’t want to get screwed by the judges, don’t let it go to the judges.
“It has nothing to do with me. You can text me, and I can feel for him, but it has nothing to do with me. You have to beat your opponent, and you have to beat the judges, unfortunately. That’s the business.”