(Video) MMA star fires off on judge for controversial scoring at Fury FC event

Mixed Martial Arts is quite new to the world of sports, which is why it grapples with its own set of challenges. One prominent issue that continues to plague the sport is the problem of inaccurate judging. The majority of judges in MMA bouts are boxing officials chosen by the local Athletic Commission.

A recent example of such an occurrence unfolded at Fury FC 89, where Nate Richardson and Michael Aswell headlined the event.

In one of the bouts on the main card, Cameron Smotherman faced off against Ryan Kuse in a bantamweight clash. Smotherman previously showcased his skills in Dana White’s Contender Series and entered the bout as the favorite. Despite his efforts, the match culminated in a split decision victory for Smotherman via split decision.

While two judges scored it 29-28 in favor of Smotherman, the third judge controversially scored it 30-27 in favor of Kuse.

During his speech after the match, Smotherman did not seem very happy with one of the judges. He said: “To that judge who [judged the fight 30-27], you fu**ing suck. I hope you quit.”

Smotherman has competed only at Fury FC to date. After winning four straight matches in Fury FC (the last two of which were finishes), he was given the chance to compete in the Contender Series. However, Charalampos Grigoriou TKOed him in the first round. Therefore, he was unable to get a contract with the UFC.

Even in high-profile MMA events of the UFC, erroneous judging persists as a prevalent issue. At UFC 300, the match between Arman Tsarukyan and Charles Oliveira ended in a split decision. Judge Mike Bell scored it 29-28 in favor of Oliveira, which surprised many within the MMA community. Tsarukyan later disclosed that he received an apology from the judge.

In previous UFC matchups, Judge Mike Bell’s scoring has come under scrutiny. For instance during the 2023 UFC Noche, Bell controversially scored a 10-8 round for Alexa Grasso against Valentina Shevchenko. The bout resulted in a split draw, with Grasso defending his championship. Shevchenko later accused the judges of partiality stemming from home-crowd advantage, and even UFC CEO Dana White condemned the decision.