Chael Sonnen On Judging Controversy And Names Closest Fight In UFC History

Chael Sonnen talks about the judging controversy and names what he thinks is the closest fight in UFC history.

Chael Sonnen
(via Chael Sonnen's Instagram)

Chael Sonnen is taking a look at the MMA judging controversies going on now.

In MMA, many times the fans and the judges don’t seem to see eye to eye. This has been the case recently and it has blown up into a controversy. Stemming from the weekend of Dec. 10, one judge, in particular, Doug Crosby has been called into question for his outlier scorecards. He was the ringside judge at the Bellator 289 main event, and the next day was the judge at the UFC 282 co-main event. He scored both bouts in a way that fans disagreed with and his credibility has been called into question. 

UFC commentator Jon Anik was one person who felt the judging was a bit off and took to Twitter to call for some explanation. 

Now Chael Sonnen thinks that Anik getting involved is not a great idea. He spoke about this on his YouTube channel.

“As long as their opinion fell within the interpretation of the rules, that judge has done his job correctly. So when Anik says, I’m gonna get to Vegas, and I’m gonna have some conversations. The administrators are welcoming the announcing team to come in and have a meeting. And they’ve held one of these powwows before. And I strongly encouraged, Hey, guys, don’t do that. But don’t do that for a number of reasons,” he said. “The number one is let’s make sure we’re all in agreement here. So that the message given to the audience is consistent with what we’re looking at. That’s only fair, you get a voice and we don’t get a voice that’s only fair. Well, whether it’s fair or not. The job is to make good TV, and having the announcers and the administration coincide is not, it’s just not. We don’t need to agree. Controversy creates cash. That’s the truth.”

Chael Sonnen believes that the judging situation has been blown out of proportion and is not as bad as some people claim


Sonnen went on to explain that the judges are doing the best they can and he is not calling for a coup on the judges. He knows just how difficult the task is to make a decision in real-time. He thinks that in close fights either opinion can be right. He even gave an example of which fight he believed was the hardest to judge. 

“There’s never been a fight in history that’s closer than Thug Rose/Carla Esparza part two, and you can call it the dullest if you want, go right ahead. There’s a lot of adjectives you can throw about while you’re throwing those synonyms in there, make sure you add ‘close,” he said. “No one knew who won that fight. No one had any idea how we’re going to score this fight. Nobody wanted to be the judges that night, if you would have had that 50-45 Rose, fine. But if you would have had it 50-45 Carla, fine. And I bring that as an example because there are fights, often, that are very difficult.”

All the attention being drawn to the judging may bring forth more changes. So far the California State Athletic Commission has issued a travel restriction for MMA judges. They will not be allowed to work in different states over a certain number of miles on consecutive days. Perhaps more restrictions may be coming. 

Published on December 22, 2022 at 9:46 am
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