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Israel Adesanya supports open scoring after decision loss to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259: ‘That seems really smart’

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Israel Adesanya was down on all three judges’ scorecards going into championship rounds against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259, but he wasn’t aware of that during his quest for double gold in the octagon.

Speaking to reporters during the post-fight press conference this past Saturday at the UFC APEX, Adesanya admitted he wasn’t keep tracking of how many rounds had elapsed by the time they were in the fourth stanza, and he wasn’t reflecting on how many rounds he possibly had won either.

“When I heard it was the fourth round, I was, ‘Oh, sh*t, I thought it was the third,’” Adesanya said. “I was just having fun in there, I was so lucid. I felt myself I was smirking a little bit, I was smiling at certain things when I knew I had him.

“I wasn’t scoring the fight, I was just trying to score points. I wasn’t trying to knock him out, take him out, but I was trying to score points and just touch him, just keep touching him, because, trust me, I can drop this guy. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. I can drop these guys.”

All three judges gave Adesanya one of the five rounds, and two gave Blachowicz a 10-8 for his final five minutes, which prompted UFC President Dana White to go on a rant about the “insane” scorecards. The middleweight champion failed in his attempt to win the light heavyweight throne and criticized the judges for their call.

“I wasn’t scoring it, so I don’t really know what it was, but I’m telling you, some of those judges, I mean, they at least need to train,” he said. “There needs to be some kind of criteria before you start judging MMA, and not just get some guys from boxing, like, ‘Oh, have look at this MMA fighting judge.’ At least you need to get down with the business.”

Women’s MMA promotion Invicta FC has done tests with open scoring in recent events in Kansas, allowing corners and fighters to know how judges saw the previous round and giving them a chance to adapt and switch things up.

Defeated for the first time as a professional MMA fighter, Adesanya seems to love that idea.

“That’s smart,” said Adesanya, who now holds a 20-1 record in the sport. “Let’s do that then. F*ck it. Why don’t we do it? That seems really smart. I like the fact that we have instant replay now. I don’t know why that took so long as well.

“I’m sure they have a group chat where they can all just text each other, [NAC] – I think that’s a really smart idea. Yeah, get it done. So that way, if my corner wants to tell me, ‘Yo, we need this round…’ Because I saw him getting tired. Trust me, I was fresh, he was getting tired, and the size played a factor in the fifth round.”