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Edson Barboza’s manager not going forward with appeal for decision loss to Dan Ige (updated)

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Ige vs Barboza
Dan Ige and Edson Barboza
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Edson Barboza and his team must be experiencing deja vu.

After dropping a split decision to Dan Ige at UFC on ESPN 8 on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., Barboza’s manager Alex Davis told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz that they are planning to appeal the judges’ call.

Barboza’s loss to Ige comes eight months after his previous fight, a split decision loss to Paul Felder at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. Following that setback, Barboza’s team filed an appeal with the UFC who were handling regulation for that event, but the decision was upheld.

Davis also expressed his displeasure with the verdict on social media.

In a statement given to MMA Fighting after the fight, Davis said the issue goes much further than the decision rendered in Barboza’s fight. He cited decisions in Claudia Gadelha vs. Angela Hill and Yadong Song vs. Marlon Vera as examples of the ongoing problem with MMA judging.

“We’re going to appeal on the call,” Davis said. “We’re from Florida; I have a very good relationship with (Florida State Boxing Commission chief) Patrick Cunningham, who’s a very constructive guy. We’ll definitely appeal on a question of principle. It has to be done.

“But the problem is much bigger than that. This is something that just keeps on happening in the sport. The day after tomorrow, everybody’s forgot about it, except for the person that was on the wrong side of these decisions. We’ve got to do something about this. It just keeps on happening. In my mind, Barboza won the first and second rounds clearly. I don’t understand how the judges picked Ige. And what we need to understand is, how are they coming up with the decisions? We just don’t know. Unfortunately, Edson is going to be 1-4 in his last five fights, and two were decisions. What does that do to his career and his paycheck? The problem is something the whole MMA community has to face. We have to come up with a better system so fighters and their careers don’t get hurt.”

On Saturday, two judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Ige, with Barboza picking up a lone 29-28. According to data collected by MMA Decisions, 13 of the 16 media members who scored the fight gave it to Barboza.

UPDATE: On Sunday, Davis told MMA Fighting that he spoke to Cunningham and was told that an appeal can only be filed under extraordinary circumstances, such as a “suspicion of fraud” or “use of illegal substances.” With no grounds to file a complaint of that nature, Davis will not go forward with an appeal.

See Davis’s statement below:

“I spoke with Patrick Cunningham this morning, the chief of the Florida State Boxing Commission, and he was very cordial, he listened to what I had to say, but, by law, he can’t have appeals filed unless it’s under suspicion of fraud or use of illegal substance. I’m not accusing anyone of fraud, let alone accusing Dan Ige of it — he’s a great fighter and fought really well. Even though I think the decision was completely wrong, I can’t file this appeal.”