The UFC on ESPN 8 main card saw a number of bouts end in controversial split decisions, with fans and fighters alike complaining about the scores handed out by the judges on Saturday night.
For his part, UFC President Dana White only saw two out of those three fights and he agreed with the judges on one and disagreed with another.
“I gave Gadelha [rounds] 1 and 3,” White said at the post fight press conference when acknowledging Gadelha’s hard-fought win. “I missed the [Marlon] Vera fight cause I was talking to somebody and then I had Barboza winning that fight.”
The fight between Barboza and Ige was a back-and-forth battle that saw both fighters have strong moments over the course of three rounds. Ige started strong and finished in similar fashion while Barboza landed a stunning knockdown of his own while punishing the Hawaiian featherweight with his signature kicks and punches to the body.
In the end, two judges gave Ige the nod while Barboza walked away with a loss in his 145-pound debut.
Despite the result, White thought Barboza looked good at featherweight, especially considering the weight cut he endured after competing at 155 pounds for the majority of his career.
“He looked good,” White said about Barboza. “He looked strong. But Ige, that’s actually his weight, he looked tough, he looked good in his real nasty fight against a guy who’s been around forever.
“A guy who came in great shape, looked good. Barboza gets in there and starts kicking and punching and he [usually] starts to gas midway through the second and he did not gas tonight. He looked good, especially for a guy who cut that much weight.”
Barboza’s team has already declared their intention to file an appeal over the decision, although it’s highly unlikely the Florida State Boxing Commission will actually overturn the result unless there was some kind of scoring error.