There’s been a lot of talk about James Krause and betting impropriety but there’s not been a lot of attention pointed toward the judges who seem to be progressively making worse and worse decisions judging UFC matches. It’s almost as if they’re judging the marketability of an athlete.
Latest case of ‘robbery’ to get scrutinized is the curious case of Paddy Pimblett and Jared Gordon.
Pimblett was promoted to co-main event after a series of unfortunate incidents caused the UFC 282 card to be significantly re-jigged.
This effectively meant that Pimblett was the most marketable man on the card. His walkout confirmed he has a lot of appeal even in light of his recent flub attacking Ariel Helwani to ingratiate himself to Dana White.
Gordon was booed by an American audience on his walk out, the audience favoring the Liverpudlian.
The clash against Gordon would end up being the first time Pimblett went the distance in UFC. He finished all of his previous UFC opponents prior to the final round. But Gordon was a clear step up in competition for Paddy who had previously faced one offs in UFC.
Pimblett had no success in taking Gordon down – and even appeared to lose the first round after a failed takedown resulted in Gordon ending up on top when the final buzzer sounded.
In round two they were evenly matched to start with Pimblett tried for a rear naked choke without the back – which tends to work only on lower level opponents. Jared got out and threw hooks that appeared to wobble Pimblett.
Pimblett handed out as good as he got and threw a couple of his own hooks that left an impression on Gordon. It was during this round that Pimblett eye poked Gordon accidentally, effectively depriving himself of momentum he needed to assert his dominance.
When all was said and done Bruce Buffer read out that all three judges scored to contest 29-28 to the surprise of longtime commentator Joe Rogan.
Dana White was also asked about the seemingly botched decision and gave a measured response saying:
“Jared Gordon had a terrible gameplan against Paddy Pimblett. He shouldn’t have coasted through the third round thinking he was up on the scorecards.”
He also reiterated an old talking point that you should never leave it to the judges.
Rogan’s octagon interview with PAddy was also somewhat awkward. Consummate professional that he is, Rogan started out by saying ‘That was a close one’ and Pimblett tried to claim it wasn’t.
“That was a close one. ” – Rogan started.
Pimblett denied: “No, it wasn’t. That wasn’t close. You just consoled me in a fair. But we’ll watch you.”
Pimblett then tried to awkwardly address the recent Helwani controversy saying “Have you consult with me, manager, and see how much you’re paying me for this interview?”
Rogan wasn’t biting and reiterated with a question: “You don’t think with the close fight at all? ”
Pimblett replied: “I won the first two rounds and then coasted in the third. I knew I was two rounds off, so I didn’t want to do non-dangerous and risk losing the fight. I knew for a fact I won the first two rounds pretty easily.”