UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping has weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding Holly Holm’s loss to Ketlen Vieira this past weekend at UFC Vegas 55.
A grizzled veteran of the sport, Bisping has found himself on the wrong side of the judges’ scoring as well. Over a decade ago, Bisping lost out on a contest to Chael Sonnen on the scorecards. ‘The Bad Guy’ was in agreement with the Englishman that he had won but all three judges ruled it in favor of Sonnen.
Michael Bisping comments on Holm’s loss
In a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Michael Bisping shared his thoughts on the main event of UFC Fight Night 206. ‘The Count’ outright shut down any talks of the outcome being a robbery. He explained what the cause of confusion might be when it comes to judging the fight and reiterated his conviction.
“I don’t think there was a robbery. I think it was a close fight that the judges scored for Ketlen Vieira”
“I think that’s the big thing here people are talking about, the control time. That is a secondary criteria to take into consideration when scoring a fight if there isn’t a clear victor in terms of the strikes”
“Gotta stop using this term robbery. It was not a robbery either way. It was a very very close fight”
According to Bisping, it’s whether you prioritize the control time by Holly or more damaging shots by Vieira.
“If you really put a lot of emphasis into the control that Holly had, then maybe you lean towards her. If you put an emphasis into Ketlen Vieira landing the bigger, more damaging shots, then maybe you lean towards her but as I say, it was not a robbery whatsoever but still great fight, entertaining fight”
Bisping reignites judging controversy
After a litany of debatable decisions by the judges in the UFC, calls for public scoring began to soar. Many people argue that having the score be public during the fight will help the athletes and the fans. There have also been calls to hold the judges more accountable for the way they perform their jobs.
Bisping believes that there is some scope of improvement when it comes to judging.
“When you go to the judges, you never know. You should know, you should know, we should know, and the fighter should know. That when it goes to the judges’ scorecards, that they’re going to get it correct”
He also finds it important to hold them accountable.
“If there’s ever a situation where it looks like a judge is completely out of his mind on the scorecards then he needs to be held accountable. He needs to sit down with his peers or the athletic commission and explain round by round why they scored it in such a fashion”
While the judging of the sport might come across as distorted at times, it’s the criteria that the judges must follow. Depending on the state or commission that’s sanctioning the event, the perception of the same fight can differ significantly. Regardless, there remains a need to focus on improving the clarity in scoring.