Judging has always seemed to be a huge problem in the world of MMA, whether it be judges scoring a bout absurdly wrong or fans simply not agreeing with the judges’ choice. UFC president Dana White has always been vocal on this issue, once saying he was scared to bring fights to Las Vegas, the fighting capital of the world, because of poor judging. After all, White’s famous line “don’t leave it in the hands of the judges” comes from these poor decisions.
UFC Fight Night 48 took place this morning (August 23, 2014) live from Macau. The first two bouts of the evening involved rather controversial decisions. Judge Howard Hughes was involved in judging both of these match-ups and after the decisions were read, the UFC president had seen enough and took action.
According to MMAJunkie.com, White actually told Hughes to take the rest of the night off, removing him from his judging duties. After all of White’s criticism and harsh words towards judges over the years, this has never happened before.
White also confirmed that it was indeed his choice to pull judge Hughes from the rest of the card at the post fight presser:
“He was involved in the first fight and the second fight. “I told the guys to go let him grab some beer and some popcorn and go sit down and start watching some fights, not judging them. I know a lot of people, the media included and the fans I saw on Twitter, felt that Phillips won the fight, but I thought Milana won the fight, so I disagree. But at the end of the day, who gives a s–t what I think. It’s the judges. They pick the winner, and that’s all that matters.”
Although White did not say directly that it was judge Hughes that was removed, he was the only judge on the first two fights and it was confirmed later on.
This is a bold move by the UFC president, but not necessarily a surprising one. White has never been afraid to voice his opinion on problems within the sport, and judging has always been a major one. Do you think this was a good move and should we see this more often if a judge is having a bad night?