Teddy Atlas Condemns 49-46 Scorecard in Makhachev’s UFC 284 Fight: ‘I Don’t Know What That Judge Was Doing’

Teddy Atlas was left confused by the 49-46 scorecard handed in by judge Derek Cleary following the UFC 284 main event

Teddy Atlas
Courtesy of THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas on YouTube

You can add Teddy Atlas’ name to the list of individuals that were left dumbfounded by one particular scorecard turned in following UFC 284’s thrilling main event on Saturday night. 

Islam Makhachev successfully defended his UFC lightweight championship for the first time against reigning 145-pound titleholder Alexander Volkanovski in the evening’s headlining bout at the RAC Arena in Australia. After 25 highly entertaining minutes of action, the Dagestani destroyer was deemed the victor unanimously, much to the chagrin of the live crowd and fans around the world. Two of the scorecards favored Makhachev 48-47 which seemed reasonable given how closely contested the rounds were, but a third scorecard turned in by Derek Clearly favored the Khabib Nurmagomedov protege 49-46.

The scorecard was immediately scrutinized by the MMA community and since then, Cleary’s sketchy history of questionable scoring has become a major topic of many post-fight conversations. On the most recent episode of THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas, the former ESPN sportscaster revealed how he scored the fight and addressed the controversial 49-46 card turned in by Cleary. 

“People are going to say I’m crazy, but I was looking for a draw,” Atlas revealed. “I was like, a draw wouldn’t be bad. I know you rarely get draws with the odd number of rounds in the UFC, but that wouldn’t be bad right here, but I’m not going crazy [calling it] a bad decision except for that one judge that had it bad. It was much closer than that no matter how you look at it so I don’t know what that judge was doing. Maybe he was having too many of those stout beers down under.”

Teddy Atlas was Particularly Impressed by Islam Makhachev’s Improved Striking

Though Teddy Atlas may not have agreed with the outcome of the contest, he was thoroughly impressed with the significantly improved striking of Islam Makhachev in the high-stakes main event on Saturday night. 

“The thing about Makhachev, we know how great he is on the mat and we know how Khabib-like he is,” Atlas said.

“Makhachev to me has improved his striking tremendously. This was before the fight. I said he’s improved and I said that’s gonna be a big part of this fight because Volkanovski wants to strike I would think, as much as he can. Obviously thinking that would be his strength. Not on the mat where Makhachev makes a living, but Volkanovski wouldn’t necessarily have quite the advantage that a lot of people might think he would normally have because Makhachev has made up so much ground in that area. He has improved so vastly as a striker. That was very evident.”

Though Alexander Volkanovski had a significant advantage in total strikes with 164 to Makhachev’s 95, significant strikes were much closer with ‘The Great’ barely edging the Dagestani 70-57. 

Published on February 14, 2023 at 3:41 pm
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