After Those “Criminal” UFC 282 Decisions, Is It Time To Rethink The Judges’ Scorecards?
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Zuffa LLC)
— Updated on 13 February 2023

After Those “Criminal” UFC 282 Decisions, Is It Time To Rethink The Judges’ Scorecards?

— Updated on 13 February 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Paddy Pimblett was right when he said “it wasn’t that close” after his unconvincing unanimous decision victory against fellow lightweight Jared Gordon at UFC 282.

In fact, while all three scorecards from judges Doug Crosby, Chris Lee, and Ron McCarthy leaned 29-28 in the beloved Scouser’s favour, the stats told a completely different story.

It was almost as if the grappling component had accounted for zilch…

Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett
Jared “The Flash” Gordon
Significant Strikes63/155 (40%)58/101 (57%)
Total Strikes97/194100/143
Takedowns0/3 (0%)3/6 (50%)
Submission Attempts00
Control Time36 seconds6 minutes 36 seconds

A similar incident occurred less than half an hour later with the light heavyweight title fight between former division champ Jan Blachowicz and Dagestani up-and-comer Magomed Ankalev.

Despite the latter logging 23 more significant strikes, 112 more total strikes, two successful takedowns to Blachowicz’s zero, and a staggering 11:20 worth of control time once again to Blachowicz’s zero, it ended in a split-draw; paving the way for originally scheduled title challenger Glover Teixeira and #7 contender Jamahal Hill to fight for the strap at UFC 283 come January 2023.

RELATED: Joe Rogan Left Speechless By “Controversial” UFC 284 Decision Against Alexander Volkanovski

It was to the point where Jan Blachowicz raised his opponent’s hand when it was all over, eventually admitting during his post-fight interview:

“I have to watch the fight, but for sure I didn’t win. I don’t know if I lost the fight, but I’m not the winner.”

Ankalaev added via interpreter: “I don’t know what to say.”

You really can’t leave anything up to the judges these days.

UFC 282 Reactions: The Consensus Is Clear

Following the controversial finale to the UFC’s pay-per-view calendar for 2022, it didn’t take long before punters, pundits, and pros alike sounded off with their opinions.

A Not-So-Secret Agenda?

One cannot help but draw parallels between Paddy Pimblett and Jared Gordon’s bout at UFC 282 with the equally controversial outcome of Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan’s bout at UFC 280.

Petr “No Mercy” Yan
“Sugar” Sean O’Malley
Significant Strikes58/96 (60%)84/163 (51%)
Total Strikes97/13991/171
Takedowns6/13 (46%)0/1 (0%)
Submission Attempts00
Control Time5 minutes 44 seconds2 seconds

Setting aside the politics associated with championing an American talent over his Russian counterpart at a time where it might not be profitable to be associated with the latter, the promotion has historically played favourites. Something the great Tony Ferguson hilariously dubbed “Dana White Privilege.”

RELATED: UFC 284 Really Is Coming To Australia With A “Stacked” Main Card

There isn’t some sinister conspiracy at hand. The explanation is actually dead simple: the UFC will obviously provide its most marketable and exciting draw cards – i.e. Pimblett, O’Malley – every advantage they can within reason to build a superstar (a gentle tipping of the scales, if you will). Because at the end of the day, if there’s no eyeballs, there’s no money. And if there’s no money, there is no UFC.

What possible benefit would there be in letting the Pimblett/O’Malley hype train derail before it really has a chance to leave the $10 billion station?

After UFC 282, Is It Time To Rethink Judges' Scorecards? - Paddy Pimblett
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Only Alternative: Stick To The Stats

The eyes may deceive and the emotions of the arena may throw you off. But fight stats don’t lie.

At a time where the UFC’s reputation has been tarnished by a full-blown betting scandal thanks to a few rotten eggs like James Krause, now is the time for complete transparency. On all fronts.

It’s like we’ve said before: the octagon is one of the last places on Earth where magic – real magic – still exists. Let’s hope it can stay that way without any profit-driven intervention.

After UFC 282, Is It Time To Rethink Judges' Scorecards? - Paddy Pimblett vs Jared Gordon Official Scorecard

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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