Life as a mixed martial arts judge can be unforgiving. Do your job correctly, and almost no one notices. Make a mistake, however, and even the most mild-mannered fan will call for your head. In that sense, judges are MMA’s equivalent of offensive lineman, only without the multi-million dollar salary to show for it.
Over the years, a number of foul-smelling verdicts have arisen in MMA, calling into question many of the standards by which the sport is scored. What is valued can vary greatly from one fight to the next, which only serves to further the confusion. The only certainty is that as long as judging criteria remains stagnant, contentious decisions will continue to emerge. Some fighters, like Leonard Garcia, Lyoto Machida and Frankie Edgar, consistently court controversy. Others, like Martin Kampmann, Marlon Sandro and Chase Beebe, are merely victims.
Judges will find no shelter here, as this is a place where names are revealed to shame the guilty. As selected and voted on by a panel of Sherdog.com staff, the list that follows highlights 10 of the sport’s most questionable rulings. As you might have guessed, there was no shortage of worthy candidates. A special thanks goes out to those at FightMetric.com and MMADecisions.com, for without their efforts, putting this list together would not have been possible.
Number 10 » Sanchez vs. Kampmann