The Doggy Bag

Nov 1, 2009



Everyone answers to somebody, so we, the staff at Sherdog.com, have decided to defer to our readers.

“The Doggy Bag” gives you the opportunity to speak about what’s on your mind from time to time.

Our reporters, columnists, radio hosts, and editors will chime in with our answers and thoughts, so keep the emails coming.

This week, readers weigh-in on the Lyoto Machida-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua decision at UFC 104 and how MMA stacks up with the NFL in athlete safety.


In lieu of the judges' decision at UFC 104, where Shogun was robbed by an awful trio of officials in LA, I have two questions for Sherdog.com staff. Firstly, and I hope this question is answered by someone who saw the fight live in person, instead of on television: what was your reaction when the scores where read? Where you as shocked as Machida was, when he heard that he had actually won? And to finish, what is the worst decision robbery you have ever seen in MMA, and does it stack up to the mugging at UFC 104?
-- Alex


Greg Savage, radio host and reporter: First off Alex, I was cageside for the Machida-Rua light heavyweight title fight and the prevailing mood in the media section was that the fight was very close. I felt the look on Machida’s face when they announced he had won was a telling sign as well. He did indeed look shocked that he had retained his belt. That said, it does not change the fact that the contest was extremely competitive and either fighter could have won.

I understand you believe this was a preposterous outcome, but I did not feel that way. To be honest, the only scorecard I had a real disagreement with was Nelson “Doc” Hamilton’s, and his scoring of the fourth round for Machida. In my opinion, Hamilton is one of the best judges, and I am sure he had his reasons, but I did not concur with his fourth round tally.

The cards of Cecil Peoples and Marcos Rosales were well within reason, scoring the first three rounds for Machida. While I don’t agree with People’s statement that low kicks do not finish fights, I can see why he and Rosales scored the fight the way they did.

I had the fight 48-47 for Shogun with rounds one, four and five in his favor. It was hardly a robbery. If the judges flipped just one round in the challenger’s favor, we would have had a new champion.

The judging in mixed martial arts could become a big problem for the sport, but the outrage we have seen over this bout and the Benson Henderson-Donald Cerrone match has been ridiculous. Heck, Cerrone and his trainer went on the record saying they believed he lost the fight, and that still did not dissuade the vocal hardcore MMA community.

If you want to see a real shameful decision, you don’t have to go too far back. Chase Beebe had a certain victory snatched from his hands at UWC 7 in early October. Virginia authorities are looking into how Mike Easton was remarkably awarded a win he so clearly did not deserve.

There have been plenty of horrible decisions in our beloved sport and there will be plenty more. Any sport where the judging is subjective will produce its share of controversy. Getting indignant about close fights lessens the effect of legitimate outrage when an athlete has truly been wronged.

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