An Unfortunate Ending: Strikeforce Finale marred by questionable judging, officiating


Last night Strikeforce closed shop with its final show from Oklahoma City. There were some great performances put on by fighters like Tarec Saffiedine, Daniel Cormier, Josh Barnett, Jacare Souza, and Gegard Mousasi.  The card featured some good submissions and an excellent striking clinic from Saffiedine in besting Nathan Marquardt for the last Strikeforce title to ever be contested.

However, there were some negative aspects of the show that, in a sense, marred the promotion’s going away party. These included some questionable judging and some very strange decisions by the referees.

First off, Ryan Couture beat K.J. Noons in a highly exciting split decision. Many thought Noons had won with more active and powerful striking, and the fight statistics would suggest that fully as well. One judge even gave it to Noons by a score of 30 to 27, so it would seem quite strange that Couture somehow won.

Dana White expressed his ire at the situation on Twitter:


And so the outcry over MMA judging rages on.

Also, in a Light Heavyweight bout between former champ Gegard Mousasi and striker Mike Kyle, Mousasi began to dominant on the ground. He loosened Kyle up with strikes and sunk in a deep rear naked choke. Kyle tapped out not once, but twice, before the ref finally stopped the fight on the third tap. It was a strange way to end the fight, to say the least. Thankfully Kyle was not seriously injured, and he announced his retirement after the fight.

Finally, another strange occurrence reared its head in the Middleweight bout between Jacare Souza and Ed Herman when Herman threw some illegal upkicks at a grounded Jacare from the bottom. The ref acknowledged that the kicks were in fact illegal, but did not penalize Herman whatsoever. What’s more, the fight was restarted on the feet, essentially rewarding Herman for using an illegal move, as it got him out from under one of the best ground wizards MMA has ever seen.

It was a moot point, thankfully, as Jacare finished Herman with a vicious keylock soon thereafter. The officiating could have lead to great controversy had Herman somehow pulled off the victory after the fight was stood up incorrectly.

I thought that these circumstances lead to a bit of a strange night in Strikeforce’s final swan song, but now the promotion is done and MMA will move on. Judging is always unpredictable but officiating mistakes like the three tapouts are seldom seen in the UFC, and for good reason. What is your take on the events of last night?

  • loved it.

  • Hahaha dana is hilarious!

  • What are you talking about? Officiating mistakes like this happen all the time in the UFC.

  • Seriously, Mike, you should do your homework before making inane statements like that. Virtually every UFC card has at least one questionable officiating or judging incident, and about every other event contains at least one egregious incident. "officiating mistakes like these are seldom seen in the UFC" = stupidest. comment. ever.

    • "Virtually every UFC card has at least one questionable officiating or judging incident" – Ughhh really? Sure it happens once in a while, but "every UFC event" – then I guess you'll have no problem giving me an example of either or in the last 50 UFC events?!? Have fun with that! Maybe you should do your homework before making such an uneducated comment. Had you said it happens from time to time in the UFC, sure I'd agree with you, but almost every UFC event?!? huh?

  • It says "like the three tapouts" Kyle having to tap out three times before the fight was called is the seldom seen mistake. Thanks

  • I believe I copy/pasted the original comment, Mike. If you edited it afterward, just acknowledge that.

  • I added the three tapout portion to clarify. Officiating mistakes do happen all the time in the UFC, yes that is true. I meant to specify the Kyle incident, I have never seen a fighter have to tap three separate times in the UFC.

    • @Mike…Remember Brock Lesnar tapping to Frank Mir and how long it took Steve mazagatti to seperate…How is it possible that a million fans are watching the bullshit unfold and a supposedly qualified ref is seeing nothing. That standup in the Herman fight was digusting. We need to clone Herb Dean.

      • Way different…Brpock was booty slappping..this ref clearly fucked up

  • Okay, that is fine and I agree with THAT statement. However, in your initial response to my comment you made reference to "like the three tapouts," which you added only afterward. Anyone who had not read your original article would have thought that I had either misread, misunderstood or misquoted you–which was not the case. You should have acknowledged the change in your first response to me, along the lines of "Yes, such mistakes do happen all the time in the UFC; in my original article, I had meant to refer specifically to the three tapouts when commenting on how seldom such incidents occur in the UFC but accidentally included the other problems as well by using the phrase, 'officiating mistakes like THESE.'" Anything less than that comes across as dishonest.*

    *Those who want to try to make themselves look intelligent like to use the word, "disingenuous" in such cases; however, "dishonest" is more appropriate. (Just a little English lesson for the masses…)

    • I am so glad I'm not the only one here who sees that Lowkick is REALLY plummeting to the bottom with their stories. I made a "constructive criticism" about misleading statements a couple weeks ago and they deleted it. This site had such potential to be one of the best but when they don't want to listen to the actual viewers of it and believe everything is all good, well, THIS happens….

    • @docamitay,

      According to whom is it true that, "those who want to try to make themselves look intelligent like to use the word, disingenuous"… Isn't this statement "dishonest", isn't the use of fellacious argumentation inappropriate?

      Aren't you deeply insecure? You use highly subjective reasoning and state it as a fact… I suggest you get an education prior to lecturing others on how to write.

      There's a good lad.

    • Sounds like you need a lesson in manners. And you show your own lack of gray matter while trying to educate us.- pretty pathetic. You call Mike a liar based on your assumption his statement, while mistaken (taken out of his subjective context), was "dishonest". It's easy to call someone a liar while hiding behind a screen.

  • TLDR

    fucking get over yourself.