Demian Maia lost a disappointing split decision at last night’s UFN 29, in a fight that could have gone either way. The fact that on judge scored the bout 48-47 for Maia, while the other two favored the American shows that it was a tough fight to tally.
The BJJ wizard Maia feels like he caught the rough end of the deal from the judges, and the he in fact did more than enough to win. Check out what he had to say at the post fight conference in Brazil:
"I don’t understand the judges. My strategy going to the fifth round was defend the takedowns and score points standing, so I thought the fight was 3-2 to me."
Although I understand Maia’s argument, it is well documented that leaving a fight for three judges to decide is not a wise choice. Maia continued:
"I’ve lost positions that I usually don’t and I don’t know why," he said. "Maybe I got excited to be fighting at home. I landed one good hand on him on the third round and he felt it. I immediately went to take his back. I normally would go for the submission but I tried to knock him out, and he recovered and reverted the position."
If only he had gone with his strength in submissions, Maia may have walked away victorious after the gruelling five round headliner. Instead he finds himself on the other side of the fence after such an impressive run at 170.
"I think the judges should make their criteria more clear, and the judges should go public," he said. "A decision like this change a fighter’s life and these guys never show up. They need to show up. They need to know the responsibility they have with judging, and they should clarify the rules."
The fact that an outside commission chooses judges/referees means that there will always be some uneducated sap judging a fighters performance. In such an unpredictable sport it is often a gamble to fight to win a decision, which is what Shields seemed content to do.
Its not all doom and gloom for the Brazilian, as he looks ahead in his career:
"Things can change quickly in the UFC," he said. "I lost to Nate Marquardt in my first loss as a middleweight and then I defeated Dan Miller and fought for the title against Anderson Silva. I can’t think about that. I just need to think about my next fight, and fight a good guy like Shields."