On Saturday night, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua battled Paul Craig in the UFC on ESPN+ 22 co-main event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Craig was a late replacement for Rua’s originally-booked opponent, Sam Alvey, after the latter withdrew from the card.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter here, the manner in which this Light Heavyweight co-main event was scored, beginning with the fight’s final statistics:
As far as total strikes landed, Paul Craig bested Mauricio Rua by a final count of 106-51, slightly over a 2-to-1 ratio in this category.
Moving along to the significant strikes category, Craig again bested Rua by a 51-25 count—another 2-to-1 ratio.
Craig and Rua finished level in knockdowns scored at one apiece.
After 15 minutes of action, the contest was left in the judges’ hands for a decision.
Here’s where it gets convoluted, in my opinion.
Out of the three judges who scored the bout, only one of them scored the fight in favor of Paul Craig.
Another judge scored the contest in favor of Mauricio Rua, while the third judge scored it 28-28, leading to the fight being ultimately called a split draw after three rounds.
Here I am, just barely removed from Saturday night’s card and I’m somewhat perplexed as to how the fight could be called a split draw in the co-main event.
First off, know that all MMA fights are scored through the use of the 10-point “Must” scoring system based on four key tenets of action:
The only statistic that could be possibly key in the fight being called a draw is the takedown category (one for each fighter), in my opinion.
With the other two statistical categories being clearly in favor of Paul Craig, I really don’t know why that contest was scored as a draw.
At the very least, Paul Craig should have won that contest by a split decision.
What do you think about this decision?
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