There’s an old adage that goes, “Everything’s bigger in Texas”, and over the weekend in the main event of UFC 247 in Houston, that saying was extended to judging in MMA fights.
Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes fought to a judges’ decision on the scorecards after 25 minutes of action, and herein lies the controversy.
Jones retained his championship via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46), despite largely trailing the fight statistically.
In spite of the result being stewed in controversy, Jones broke a record on Saturday night, winning the 14th title bout of his career, also breaking a tie for most career title fight wins with Georges St-Pierre.
Let’s take a look at the three most significant categories of statistics to better understand this.
Reyes 119 (advantage to Dominick Reyes)
Significant Strikes Landed:
Reyes 116 (advantage to Dominick Reyes)
Reyes 0 (advantage to Jon Jones).
Jon Jones only led in one statistical category on Saturday night, and when the decision was announced that Jones had won the fight and kept the belt, it was met with boos from the crowd of 17,401 inside Houston’s Toyota Center.
It should be noted that Dominick Reyes was leading statistically by a comfortable margin through the third round of the five-round contest.
UFC president Dana White had this to say in a post-fight interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto:
“I’ve had scoring all over the map, man. You know, I had people who had it 2-2 going into the last round. Joe Silva, former matchmaker of the UFC, had the fight a draw, and the list goes on and on.”
He continued with:
“But, at the end of the day, none of us are judges, so, the judges scored the thing—they gave it to Jon Jones and Reyes looked awesome. He looked incredible against the greatest of all-time.”
The fact of the matter is that the state of Texas has shown a lack of consistency in both judging and refereeing in both MMA and boxing.
White touched on this matter during his post-fight comments.
You go back to the early prelims and you take a look at the Andre Ewell vs. Jonathan Martinez decision—the judges saw the fight for Andre Ewell, despite Martinez giving Ewell some notable damage during the contest.
There’s only one thing that the UFC can do with something like this:
Once both Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes have healed from Saturday’s fight, schedule a rematch.
Hopefully, the rematch will be held outside of Texas if it comes to pass.
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