Bellator 289’s main event didn’t end in any old split decision.
Following months of heated build-up, interim bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots fended off the wrestling of Danny Sabatello to walk away victorious in Friday’s headlining bout at Bellator 289 and advance to the finals of Bellator’s $1 million bantamweight grand prix. Judges Bryan Miner and Eric Colon scored the contest 48-47 for Stots, however more than a few eyebrows were raised when the lone dissenting scorecard was read off — a 50-45 in favor of Sabatello awarded by controversial veteran judge Doug Crosby.
The clean sweep on Crosby’s scorecard for the losing fighter instantly set off a barrage of criticism and confusion among the MMA community, with many fighters such as UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and top contender Derek Brunson adding their voices to the conversation.
Check out how the MMA world reacted to Bellator 289’s peculiar scoring below.
Bro, idk Crosby but that’s gotta be the most ignorant judging I’ve seen in awhile at a high level of MMA. 50-45??? https://t.co/yfcjWX6VNf— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) December 10, 2022
Stots just punch him!! Even off your back! This guy is doing ZERO damage to you with all that control time. Sabatitty is really cheeks. He’s good at wrestling but this is a fight bro. How have you not evolved while training at ATT?! #Bellator289— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) December 10, 2022
Did Doug Crosby have it 50-45 for Sabatello?! Lmao— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) December 10, 2022
We need an investigation— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) December 10, 2022
Doug Crosby is always the odd judge out and by a large margin. He must have dirt on whatever high ranking official sanctions these judges. no way he should be there https://t.co/cjo98NcCD5— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) December 10, 2022
Since we’re taking fixing fights… FBI should look into Doug Crosby https://t.co/Sj7vSPdxmr— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) December 10, 2022
50-45 judge... fuck off.— Adrian Yañez (@yanezmma) December 10, 2022
Why TF is Doug Crosby still judging fights???— Funky (@Benaskren) December 10, 2022