UFC statement about missing UFC 204 judge, fighter wants no contest
Fans, fighters and even promoters consistently complain about judging in mixed martial arts contests. After having a judge essentially go AWOL during the first five minutes of a contest at UFC 204, the organization has released a statement.
Leonardo Santos (16-3-1) and Adriano Martins (28-8) were competing in a lightweight bout in England’s Manchester Arena when MMA Fighting photographer Esther Lin noticed that the judge positioned by her side was not in place.
Judges Maciej Motylewski and Paul Sutherland were in position, but veteran official Jeff Mullen was not, only making it to his assigned post in the opening moments of the second frame.
Um there’s no judge next to me.
Yay he’s back! Judge here.
Santos was declared the winner via split decision. Both Mullen and Sutherland awarded Santos rounds one and two, while Motylewski gave Martins rounds two and three.
With no athletic commission in place in England to oversee the bouts, UFC officials were left to self-regulate Promotion reps issued the following statement when contacted by MMAjunkie.
“At the UFC 204 event on Oct. 8 in Manchester, England, a judge was not in the proper judge’s chair during the first round of the Adriano Martins vs. Leonardo Santos bout,” the statement reads. “Judge Jeff Mullen was seated in the first row of the commission seating area and was observing the bout. Upon noticing that Judge Mullen was not in his appropriate seat at the end of round 1, Marc Ratner, UFC Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs, asked Mullen if he believed that he could adequately score the round from his vantage point. Judge Mullen confirmed that he had observed the entire round and that he could appropriately score the round. As a result, Mullen filled out his judge’s scorecard for round 1 and took his appropriate judge’s seat to observe and score the remaining two rounds of the bout.
“After the conclusion of the bout, all three of the judges’ scorecards were tallied, and the decision was announced. Although the bout resulted in a split decision for Santos, it is important to note that all three of the judges scored the first round 10-9 in favor of Santos.
Mullen was also one of the judges in the controversial decision win of Michael Bisping over Matt Hamill back at UFC 75.
“In order to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future, UFC has reviewed its protocol for starting any and all bouts that occur in territories that do not have an applicable athletic commission or federation.”
Martins’ manager, Alex Davis, said he would like for the fight to be ruled a no contest and plans on contacting UFC officials with a formal request.
“With all due respect to Santos and Nova Uniao, it was such a close fight that anything that judge missed, a single kick or punch, could change the result of the fight,” Davis said. “There is a protocol in place, and if the judge isn’t where he’s supposed to be at cageside, the fight should be considered a no contest.”