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John McCarthy blasts Texas judge for controversial UFC 265 scorecard, Twitter defense: ‘Learn how to be an actual official’

“Big” John McCarthy
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

John McCarthy is putting the hammer down on a Texas judge.

This past Saturday’s UFC 265 event in Houston proceeded mostly without controversy, but there was one scorecard — and one round score specifically — from judge JJ Ferraro that caused a stir.

In a preliminary lightweight bout between Rafael Fiziev and Bobby Green that Fiziev won by unanimous decision, Ferraro awarded Fiziev with a 30-27 scorecard that differed from the 29-28 scores issued by judges Sal D’Amato and Chris Lee. Though there was little dispute that Fiziev deserved the decision, a third-round surge by Green appeared to be enough to keep him from being shut out on the cards, a sentiment that was also reflected in the media and fan scoring on MMA Decisions.

On Monday, Ferraro posted an in-depth explanation of his score on social media, stating that he felt Fiziev’s early work in round three and Green’s late offense evened out, resulting in Ferraro resorting to lower priority scoring criteria that he felt favored Fiziev.

McCarthy addressed Ferraro’s scoring and decision to go online to defend himself, and he wasn’t convinced by the Texas judge’s reasoning.

“Bobby Green fought Rafael Fiziev, and we all agreed on what the outcome was,” McCarthy said on the Weighing In podcast (transcription via “I thought Fiziev won the fight, it should have been 29-28. One of the judges went 30-27. That judge has decided that he wants to take on Jon Anik and Kenny Florian. And I just want to tell that judge, you’re a dipsh*t, dude. You’re a complete dumbass. You are screwing yourself over. Stop. What you said when you put out your first tweet — that I wasn’t going to talk about but now I’m going to — you were wrong. You aren’t even using the criteria the right way.

“You actually said that in the third round that Bobby Green may have had more volume but Rafael Fiziev had the better strikes overall. Bullsh*t. You’re the only dumbass that thinks that. So what you need to do is figure out that your humility needs to take some precedence in this. And when everybody except you says Bobby Green won that round, what will make you a better judge is to go back, watch the fight — it’s not just me saying it, it’s everybody — go back and watch that round. You’ll see that the jabs that Bobby Green was hitting Fiziev with — and the big difference is Rafael was tired and yes, he was still throwing, but he wasn’t landing with the power that he once was — that changes the round.”

Under the Unified Rules of MMA, effective striking and effective grappling are the factors that take precedence over all other criteria, with the official language describing effective striking as the following:

Legal blows that have immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to contribute towards the end of the match with the IMMEDIATE weighing in more heavily than the cumulative impact.

Here is the language for effective grappling.

Successful execution of takedowns, submission attempts, reversals and the achievement of advantageous positions that produce immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to contribute to the end of the match, with the IMMEDIATE weighing more heavily than the cumulative impact.

Effective aggressiveness is second in scoring priority, with fighting area control being the last criteria considered. Ferraro specifically cited “cage control” as giving Fiziev the edge in the third round.

McCarthy was so critical of Ferraro’s score that he suggested Ferraro undergo more judging training.

“So you sitting there trying to say that, ‘Oh, I said that the striking was equal so that I went to the next criteria, and that was aggression because there was no grappling,’ and you would be right there, then you said that the aggression was equal,” McCarthy continued. “Again, you’re being wrong — it wasn’t equal. Bobby Green was the aggressor in the third round. So he wins that round based upon that if you’re going to go to it. And then you actually went and said, ‘That was even so I went to what would be effective control,’ ring or cage control, and that’s when you gave it to Rafael Fiziev.

“Dude, you need to go back to class. What will help you become a better judge is you being smart enough to go back and be honest and say, ‘I got that wrong,’ because that will help you improve later on. You then went and you took on Jon Anik and Kenny Florian and told them something about [they should be ashamed of themselves] for what they said about your score in the third round and you’re you’re wrong, they shouldn’t be ashamed of themselves because they’re right. And then you said, I’m not Adelaide Byrd. Dude, you have absolutely overstepped it. Grow up, learn how to be an actual official in this sport, and get the f*ck off of Twitter.”

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