The world is still buzzing about the controversial scorecards that made Paddy Pimblett a winner at UFC 282.
On Saturday night, ‘The Baddy’ squared off with Jared ‘Flash’ Gordon in the co-main event of the evening. After 15 minutes of action, the general consensus appeared to have the bout scored in favor of Gordon, but the presiding judges threw the entire MMA community for a loop when they revealed their scorecards were unanimously in favor of Pimblett.
Since then, seemingly everyone involved in the sport has spoken out about the controversial decision, including ‘The MMA Hour’ host Ariel Helwani. As we all know by now, there is no love lost between Helwani and Paddy Pimblett after the Liverpudlian made disparaging remarks about the renowned MMA journalist on his own podcast. However, Helwani did not take aim at Pimblett following the highly questionable decision on Saturday. Instead, he questioned MMA judging as a whole and addressed one very specific recurring problem.
“The story isn’t about the criteria and it’s more about the judging,” said Helwani during an episode of The MMA Hour on Monday. “The 10-point must system has never worked. It’s a boxing model that applies to our sport and really, we’re asking judges to score MMA fights like it’s figure skating. Like it’s gymnastics. Damage. How do you score damage? It’s too subjective. Like in every other sport it’s like, ‘If the Bills cross this line, it’s a touchdown.’ You get six points. In our sport it’s like damage… These are close fights. It’s very very hard.
“So I agree to that degree. Now it’s going to take a lot of work and it’s not to say that work shouldn’t be done, but here’s the issue: It was once again put into the spotlight this weekend. On Friday night I’m watching Danny Sabatello vs. Raufeon Stots. Raufeon Stots won that fight 48-47. I didn’t see a lot of other people disagree except for one. His name is Douglas Crosby. We have been talking about Douglas Crosby and the conflicts that this man has in the sport and the amount of times where his scorecards are a little bit suspect.”
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) December 12, 2022
Ariel Helwani Details Personal Run-Ins With MMA Judge Douglas Crosby Following Controversial UFC 282 Scorecard
Although three MMA judges were responsible for the illogical decision in the UFC 282 co-main event, one man is specifically under fire as he was part of another mind-boggling scorecard just 24 hours prior. At Bellator 289 on Friday night, Douglas Crosby was one of the presiding judges during the main event matchup between interim bantamweight champion Raufeon Stots and challenger Danny Sabatello.
After five full rounds of action, they went to the judges’ scorecards where two of the three scored the fight a reasonable 48-47 for Stots. Crosby on the other hand scored it in the completely opposite direction, delivering a 50-45 card in favor of Sabatello.
“I have had personal run-ins,” Helwani explained. “Contentious run-ins with him. Once at a computer store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Once at an event where this guy like came after me. Verbally came after me and told me I was a shit journalist because I have talked about him. Everyone has a Douglas Crosby story. He’s a good friend of Chael Sonnen. I still don’t understand why. This guy should not be judging fights. He has too many conflicts. He is not allowed to judge the Serra-Longo team fights. He has had a long standing issue with Ray Longo. There are other people who have said we don’t want him.
“That guy, with all his conflicts. With all his inadequacies in terms of judging, that guy was in Connecticut at Mohegan on Friday, scoring a fight 50-45 Danny Sabataello. That guy got on a plane and flew across the country to Las Vegas to be in the chair on Saturday. When I spoke to people who work with NBA refs, you are not allowed to do this. If you’re an NBA ref, you have to be at least 24 hours to be well-rested [and] clear-minded.”
Douglas Crosby is the only judge in MMA history to give a 50-45 score to the loser of a fight and he has done it twice. Crazy!
— The Todd Atkins Show 🥋 (@ToddAtkinsMMA) December 12, 2022
Sharing his own personal opinion about Crosby, Helwani suggested that the often controversial MMA judge is simply scoring fights in a fashion that will earn favor with promoters, like UFC President Dana White.
“I think that he wants to be in such good graces with the promoters because I know he loves Dana White and I know he tries to curry favor with him, he tries to score fights based on what he thinks the promoter wants. So he scores it for Danny Sabatello because he thinks that’s the guy they want. He scores it for Paddy Pimblett. Now we should say, they other two judges scored it for Paddy as well so he’s not the only guy at fault, but I cannot believe the Nevada Athletic Commission would allow anyone, controversial or not, to fly from Connecticut to Vegas in 24 hours to do that.”