Last weekend, the UFC kicked off its inaugural event of hosting cards on Fight Island. UFC 251 delivered with three title fights and a host of prelim bouts that could easily serve as Fight Night main events. During the card, UFC featherweight Max Holloway challenged Alex Volkanovski in a rematch for the UFC featherweight championship. Fans across the Island, as well as the globe, were shocked by the judge’s scorecards that were in favor of Volkanovski. Taking a look at social media, fans were in unison after the final bell that Holloway recaptured his world title. Instead, the judges favored Alex. After, lots of fans called the decision thievery. And, so did a long time MMA referee “Big” John McCarthy, who explained the robbery.
Holloway suffered a controversial split decision defeat to Alexander Volkanovski during the matchup last weekend. Max was able to knock down Volkanovski in the first and second rounds. Furthermore, he delivered a more agreeable performance overall compared to their first meeting back in December. And, while Alex did perform better in the final three rounds, many observers felt Holloway did more than enough to become a featherweight champion again. Especially John McCarthy.
John McCarthy Explains Holloway vs Volkanovski
McCarthy recently appeared on the “Weighing In” podcast. While he didn’t use “robbed” as the official terminology, he expressed believing that Holloway should have won the fight.
“Max Holloway got…I don’t want to say robbed. But, he got jobbed because he definitely won that fight,” said Big John.
“There are certain people that were — this is where I have a problem — the UFC is responsible for the people who are their officials there. This isn’t the British MMA council who is doing the inspector job and things, it’s the UFC. You picked some really bad people to be your judges because they do not have the levels that it takes to be in the position that they are and judge the fight. Because the Volkanovski fight was not that hard of a fight to judge.”
McCarthy on the Scoring of the Fight
McCarthy continued by explaining the details of the fight. Finally, he reviewed the criteria for scoring an actual fight.
“Max was tooling him in the beginning of that fight. I’ll give Vokanovski coming on in the end, okay. But there’s no way he won three rounds in that fight. Did not happen. Impossible. Sorry, I don’t know what the hell you’re looking at. I wrote the rules you go by for your criteria, and you’re not frickin’ following them. I had it 3-2 [for Holloway, giving him the first three rounds]. You almost could have gone 49-46 for Holloway.”
Lots of fans on social media took it upon themselves to rewatch the fight. The reasoning was to see if their minds would change after viewing with a closer eye to detail. Upon further review, fans seem skeptical of the decision, although some have come to grips with the close decision.
Is McCarthy correct about Max being “jobbed?” Or, was the fight a lot closer than people say?