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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier blasts judging in UFC 262 main event: ‘It’s crazy that they scored that 10-8’

UFC ‘Go Big’ press conference photos
Daniel Cormier
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 262 took place this past Saturday with Charles Oliveira claiming the lightweight title via second-round TKO of Michael Chandler. However, things could have gone much, much different for “Do Bronx.”

In the opening round, Oliveira was hit with a big shot from Chandler but was able to secure a takedown and move to the back quickly, where he locked in a body triangle. After about 90 seconds of backpacking Chandler without attempting a submission and landing minimal strikes, Chandler was able to explode out of the position and return to his feet. Once there, Chandler landed huge shots that hurt Oliveira and forced him to eventually pull guard to save himself. For the remainder of the round, Chandler sat atop Oliveira and landed good ground-and-pound while Oliveira just looked to survive to the horn. Survive he did but for his efforts, two of the judges for UFC 262’s main event - Sal D’Amato and Chris Lee - awarded Chandler a 10-8 round and that has drawn the ire of UFC commentator and former champ-champ Daniel Cormier.

“We have to discuss that 10-8 in Round 1 because Michael Chandler won that round but when Charles Oliveira gets you down, takes your back, does good things in the round, how in the world are you scoring that 10-8 as a judge?” Cormier said on ESPN. “The reality is, judges are so afraid and they really don’t want to give a 10-7 round but if that is a 10-8 round, what is worse? What do you have to do in order to go 10-7? Because if you recall, when Glover Teixeira beat Anthony Smith, and if you recall Glover Teixeira busted his tooth out of his mouth, that was a 10-8 round. How in the world can you judge these two rounds the same when one was an absolute beating and the other was a competitive round?

“I believe that in judging when you take the responsibility - and I know they wanted to relax the ways that people are scoring 10-8s - you have to be very careful because they were about to mess up that fight. Had that gone five rounds, you would have had Charles Oliveira down two rounds after a very competitive round. You are taking responsibility for people’s livelihoods and their careers. You have to watch carefully, watch closely, and truly understand what you are watching. It’s crazy that they scored that 10-8.”

Ultimately, the scoring for the main event did not matter as Oliveira quickly turned the tables in Round 2, dropping Chandler with a perfect left hook and securing the TKO moments later. However it wasn’t just the main event judging that caused controversy. Also on the main card, Katlyn Chookagian received a 30-27 scorecard despite being mounted for a good portion of the second round ,and earlier in the evening, there was the rare split decision where two judges had it 30-27 for Lando Vannata while the third had a dissenting 29-28 scorecard for Mike Grundy that makes little sense to anyone. And so it’s not just the main event scoring which ruffled DC’s feathers, it’s the totality of it all.

“We’re getting issues in the judging,” Cormier said. “Look man, I love Katlyn Chookagian, she’s a sweetheart, I thought she lost the fight. I don’t understand how you get mounted in Round 2 and have a moment afterwards and win the round. I don’t know how they’re valuing ground control anymore because Araujo not only got the takedown, got to the mount, she threatened submissions! There are so many reasons as to why she should have won that round and ultimately won the fight. I ultimately don’t get the way that judging his happening right now and I think it’s a real problem and we have to find a way to address this. I know we’ve been saying this for a long time but we were saved by the Oliveira because bro, they were about to mess that fight up and we don’t want that when you’re fighting for championships.”

Judging has long been a hot-button issue in MMA circles that seemingly rears its head after ever major event. A variety of fixes and adjustments have been proposed by fighters and fans a like to curb what many see as a major problem with the sport but thus far, nothing has come of it.


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For the record, it’s not at all crazy that they scored that round 10-8. Oliveira took the back but generated very little damage and didn’t come close to a submission. Michael Chandler beat the hell out of Chucky Olives and nearly got a stoppage. I scored it a 10-8 and I stand by that score completely.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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