Ariel Helwani needed a double take to score the UFC 284 main event.
Much like the rest of the MMA fans around the world, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani was tuned into UFC 284 on Saturday night. The main event saw two champions pitted up against each other to see which one would end up on top of the pound-for-pound rankings. Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev defeated featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in a close but unanimous decision. Now playing Monday morning quarterback, Helwani is taking a look at the fight and explaining his scoring.
Ariel Helwani had to take a double look at the UFC 284 main event and explains his scoring
Many thought coming into this bout that the bigger Makhachev would be able to control Volkanovski on the ground much as he has with many of his other past opponents. Throughout the weeks leading up to the fight, Volkanovski was stating that he was not so easy to pin down, and he proved to be right. Helwani originally scored the bout for Makhachev when watching it but later went back to rewatch it and changed his tune.
“I think a lot of people at the time, thought that Volk had done enough. The crowd went nuts. Now for the record upon watching it live, I scored it three to two for Islam Makhachev,” he explained on The MMA Hour. “I gave Islam the first, second, and fourth rounds. I gave Volk the third and fifth. Now I watched it again last night and yes the second and fourth are really close super close. I saw what Volk tweeted he says that he thinks he won the second, third, and fifth, I think the fourth he actually may have a stronger case, to be honest but super super close.”
Helwani was very impressed with the fight as a whole. He felt that both men should be proud of their performances and was nothing but in awe of the fight and in particular Volkanovski’s performance.
“I couldn’t look away, I could not look away, the chess match, the size difference, him fending off the takedowns, how cool he was laughing, talking sh-t, the striking, never seeing Islam in a position like he was in in the fifth round,” he said. “Thinking if there’s a minute left here is he actually gonna finish him I mean everything about it it was amazing.”
UFC and MMA scoring in general has been called into question more and more of late. The judging criteria is somewhat lacking and the subjectivity can sometimes be overwhelming. How the fight is viewed in person can be vastly different from how the fans at home see the fight.