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Saturday, January 09, 2021

Once again, Sal D'Amato and Derek Cleary flip-flopped at the top of the list of the busiest judges, with D'Amato coming out ahead in 2020. D'Amato regained the title with 77 complete UFC scorecards, which bested Cleary's 65.

Cleary and D'Amato submitted UFC scorecards in a whopping 29 events in 2020, which obliterated the previous record of 22, which was also jointly held by those two.

Third busiest was Michael Bell, who finished with 58 UFC decisions, 20 more than he had in 2019.

Chris Lee finished 2020 with 44 UFC decisions. 2020 was the 10th consecutive year in which Lee finished in the top four.


Returning to the list in 2020 after absences were Dave Hagen and Junichiro Kamijo. Making their debuts on the list were Fight Island adjudicators David Lethaby, Clemens Werner, and Anders Ohlsson.

Dropping off the list from the previous year: Dave Tirelli, Mark Collett, Guilherme Bravo, and Tony Weeks.

Busiest UFC Judges of 2020 *
# Judge Events** Decisions
1Sal D'Amato2977
2Derek Cleary2965
3Michael Bell2658
4Chris Lee2244
5Eric Colon2143
6Dave Hagen2237
7Ron McCarthy1630
8Junichiro Kamijo1528
9David Lethaby725
-Clemens Werner825
-Anders Ohlsson725
* - Not including fights stopped before decision
** - Not including worked events in which a full scorecard was not submitted

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Using a combined measurement of media and fan scoring percentages, MMAdecisions.com has compiled a list of 2020's most disputed decisions:



2020's Most Disputed Decisions
Agreement with Winner
# Fight Media Fans Avg. Winner's Judges Other Judge Notes
1Murphy def. Lee0%6%3%Dealejandro, PatlanLeeDealejandro had 30-27
2Ewell def. Martinez0%10%13%Soliz, DealejandroFerraroSoliz had 30-27
3Ige def. Barboza11%12%12%Cleary, D'AmatoWincapawHome-country decision
4Salikhov def. Zaleski dos Santos13%14%13%Bosacki, WernerLethabyBosacki had 30-27
5McKenna def. Hansen13%26%19%Cleary, D'Amato, Lee-Away-country decision
6Paiva def. Zhumagulov20%22%21%Bosacki, Cartlidge, Paolillo--
7Ziam def. Mullarkey12%33%22%Cartlidge, Ransom, Werner--
8Gadelha def. Hill24%24%24%Lee, TirelliD'AmatoAway-country decision
9Moises def. Green27%25%26%Cleary, D'Amato, Hagen--
10Zaleski dos Santos def. Kunchenko33%19%26%Bravo, D'Amato, Terrell-Home-country decision

UPDATE: Ewell vs. Martinez was moved from #4 to #2 on the list after it was pointed out that MMA Junkie scored the fight for Martinez and not Ewell as originally recorded.

Honourable Mentions:


Of note:

  • By the measurement used in this list, Murphy/Lee was the most disputed decision since Lauzon/Held in 2017.
  • Though there were others on the list with more appearances, Danny Dealejandro's two entries were noteworthy. He only rendered 3 UFC decisions all year, yet two of those decisions were in the top four of the year's most disputed.
  • At the same event in Houston, Joe Soliz rendered disputed scorecards in the 5th and 11th most disputed bouts of the year, including the hotly discussed 49-46 Jon Jones card in his title fight against Dominick Reyes. Soliz also submitted scorecards in just three UFC fights all year.
  • Sal D'Amato and Derek Cleary made the most appearances on this year's list, but they also submitted the most UFC scorecards for the year (77 and 65 decisions, respectively).
  • For the second straight year, the judge with the most completed UFC scorecards without an appearance in the top ten is Michael Bell. He added 58 decisions to his UFC tally in 2020. That makes a remarkable 96 UFC decisions in the last two years without an entry on this list.
  • Six of the top ten fights occurred at just three events: UFC 247 in Houston, UFC on ESPN 8 in Jacksonville, and UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
  • Five of the top ten fights were unanimous decisions. In previous years, there have never been more than four unanimous decisions in the top ten.
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos was the only fighter on the list twice: once on the winning side and once on the losing side. He is the first fighter to appear in the top ten twice in the same year.

Home-Country Decisions*

"Home-Country Decisions", by definition, are those fights in which the winner hailed from the country in which the fight was held and his/her opponent was from another country. Conversely, if the loser was from the event's country and his/her opponent was from elsewhere, the fight was marked as an "away-country decision".


* - Marking these fights as such does not imply that the judges held a geographical bias of any sort; it is merely an objective observation.

Selection Criteria

  • Only decisions in which at least two-thirds of the tracked media scores disagreed with the actual winner AND decisions in which at least two-thirds of the submitted fan scorecards disagreed with the actual winner were included.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 6 media scores.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 15 fan scorecards.
  • Only fights from Bellator, Cage Warriors, Invicta, KSW, World Series of Fighting and the UFC were considered.

Sources of Bias

There are several possible sources of bias that could have affected the members and order of this list. Those sources include:

  • Loser Bias: Fans who disagree with the outcome are more likely to submit a scorecard than those who are content with the decision.
  • Geographical Bias (Fans): Sometimes certain countries generate more traffic than others, which could lead to a bias in fan voting.
  • Geographical Bias (Media): The media scorecards tracked on this site are predominantly submitted by US-based media members.
  • Small Sample Size: with thresholds set at 6 media members and 15 fan scorecards, it is quite possible that those small thresholds could yield results that vary significantly from the general MMA populace.
  • UFC Bias: Because of the dearth of media and fan scores in other organizations, very few non-UFC decisions meet the thresholds for consideration.
Monday, January 13, 2020

Derek Cleary returned to the top of the list of the busiest UFC judges in 2019. He supplanted Sal D'Amato, who dropped into the second slot. Cleary and D'Amato have swapped the title of the busiest UFC judge each of the past four years.

Third busiest belonged to Chris Lee in 2019. In each year since 2011, Lee has been one of the top four active UFC judges.

Michael Bell moved up from number six to number four from the previous year, significantly increasing his total scorecard count. Bell was also one of the year's busiest non-UFC judges, travelling abroad to many Bellator events.

Returning to the list in 2019 after a one-year absence was Eric Colon, slotting in at the number 5 slot. And back after a 5-year absence is English judge Mark Collett, reentering in the number seven position.


Making his debut on the 2019 list is California-based judge Ron McCarthy. Finishing in a tie for ninth, McCarthy may be best known as the son of Bellator color commentator and former referee "Big" John McCarthy.

Dropping off the list from the previous year: Dave Hagen, Marcos Rosales, Glenn Trowbridge and Douglas Crosby.

Busiest UFC Judges of 2019 *
# Judge Events** Decisions
1Derek Cleary2063
2Sal D'Amato1958
3Chris Lee1542
4Michael Bell1038
5Eric Colon1030
6Dave Tirelli928
7Mark Collett824
8Guilherme Bravo522
9Ron McCarthy620
-Tony Weeks620
* - Not including fights stopped before decision
** - Not including worked events in which a full scorecard was not submitted

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Using a combined measurement of media and fan scoring percentages, MMAdecisions.com has compiled a list of 2019's most disputed decisions:



2019's Most Disputed Decisions
Agreement with Winner
# Fight Media Fans Avg. Winner's Judges Other Judge Notes
1Sakai def. Arlovski0%9%4%Lee, WincapawCleary-
2Lopez def. Morales0%12%6%Grice, Rosales, Vieira--
3Hernandez def. Trinaldo15%7%11%Carrion, Rosales, Garcia-Home-country decision;
Carrion, Rosales: 30-27
4Alves def. Griffin11%11%11%Bravo, PontesBellHome-country decision
5Henderson def. Piccolotti0%24%12%Maness, RosalesGuingonaOnly non-UFC decision
6Kenney def. Borg17%10%13%Brogan, Colflesh, Colon-Colon: 30-27
7Anders def. Meerschaert13%14%14%Olney, WeeksCleary-
8Holland def. Di Chirico21%7%14%D'Amato, JamesLee
9Ivanov def. Rothwell13%19%16%Champion, Cleary, D'Amato-Away-country decision
10Oezdemir def. Rakic13%26%19%Collett, DimitrouField-

Honourable Mentions:


Of note:

  • Three events yielded decisions that qualified for this year's list (including honourable mentions): UFC on ESPN 2 (Pittsburgh), UFC on ESPN+ 13 (Sacramento), and UFC on ESPN 4 (San Antonio).
  • None of the year's top ten entries occurred at a pay-per-view event.
  • 2019 was the first year in which four of the top ten decisions were unanimous.
  • The year's tough-luck fighter has to be Gerald Meerschaert. He was the loser in the #7 and #11 most disputed decisions of the year.
  • Kevin Holland was the only fighter who was on the winning side of two of the year's qualified fights (including honourable mentions): #8 and #11.
  • Marcos Rosales submitted scorecards for the winner in three of the top five fights on this year's list, and one of the honourable mentions. Rosales was the 20th most active judge in UFC decisions in 2019, submitting completed scorecards in 9 total UFC fights.
  • The judge with the most UFC scorecards without an appearance in the top ten is Michael Bell. He added 38 decisions to his UFC tally in 2019. It is also worth noting that none of the three busier judges (Derek Cleary, Sal D'Amato and Chris Lee), had more than one entry in the year's top ten list.

Home-Country Decisions*

"Home-Country Decisions", by definition, are those fights in which the winner hailed from the country in which the fight was held and his/her opponent was from another country. Conversely, if the loser was from the event's country and his/her opponent was from elsewhere, the fight was marked as an "away-country decision".


* - Marking these fights as such does not imply that the judges held a geographical bias of any sort; it is merely an objective observation.

Selection Criteria

  • Only decisions in which more than two-thirds of the tracked media scores disagreed with the actual winner AND decisions in which more than two-thirds of the submitted fan scorecards disagreed with the actual winner were included.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 6 media scores.
  • A fight must have a minimum of 15 fan scorecards.
  • Only fights from Bellator, Cage Warriors, Invicta, KSW, World Series of Fighting and the UFC were considered.

Sources of Bias

There are several possible sources of bias that could have affected the members and order of this list. Those sources include:

  • Loser Bias: Fans who disagree with the outcome are more likely to submit a scorecard than those who are content with the decision.
  • Geographical Bias (Fans): Sometimes certain countries generate more traffic than others, which could lead to a bias in fan voting.
  • Geographical Bias (Media): The media scorecards tracked on this site are predominantly submitted by US-based media members.
  • Small Sample Size: with thresholds set at 6 media members and 15 fan scorecards, it is quite possible that those small thresholds could yield results that vary significantly from the general MMA populace.
  • UFC Bias: Because of the dearth of media and fan scores in other organizations, very few non-UFC decisions meet the thresholds for consideration.
Sunday, August 04, 2019

It has been over five years since MMAdecisions.com has examined the causes of draws in the UFC, so let's take an updated look.

To set the table, there are relatively few draws in MMA fights because with an uneven number of rounds, if all judges score all rounds 10-9 (without point deductions), then it is impossible for the result to be a draw. Consequently, there are three primary reasons why an MMA fight would end in a draw:

  • There was at least one 10-8 round scored in the fight
  • There was at least one 10-10 round scored in the fight
  • There was a point deducted by the referee for a foul

The time frame from 2016-2017 saw the greatest frequency of draws, with 12 occurring in the UFC during that period. However, there have only been two since, and none so far in 2019.

Of the 29 fights on the list, 16 were caused by 10-8 rounds, 10 were caused by point deductions, and 4 were caused by 10-10 rounds. (Note that one fight was caused by both a 10-10 round and a 10-8 round, so it was double counted)

Causes of Modern-Era UFC Draws *
Date Event Fight Draw Type Cause
2018-11-03 UFC 230 M Frevola vs. L Vannata Majority 10-8 round
2018-09-22 UFC Fight Night 137 M Rodriguez vs. R Markos Majority 10-8 round
2017-12-30 UFC 219 M Vettori vs. O Akhmedov Majority 10-8 round
2017-12-01 TUF 26 Finale D Bennett vs. M Fabian Majority Point Deduction
2017-10-07 UFC 216 L Vannata vs. B Green Split Point Deduction
2017-10-07 UFC 216 B Dariush vs. E Dunham Majority 10-8 round
2017-03-11 UFC Fight Night 106 M Reneau vs. B Correia Majority 10-8 round
2016-11-12 UFC 205 T Woodley vs. S Thompson Majority 10-8 round
2016-09-17 UFC Fight Night 94 A Morales vs. A Perez Majority Point Deduction
2016-09-03 UFC Fight Night 93 C Colombo vs. J Danho Majority Point Deduction
2016-07-30 UFC 201 M Graves vs. B Velickovic Majority 10-8 round
2016-06-04 UFC 199 K Casey vs. E Mutapcic Split 10-8 round
2016-05-14 UFC 198 S Moraes vs. L Chagas Split 10-8 round
2016-01-30 UFC on Fox 18 D Jackson vs. L Makashvili Majority Point Deduction
2015-10-24 UFC Fight Night 76 D Till vs. N Dalby Majority 10-8 round
2015-09-27 UFC Fight Night 75 T Ishihara vs. M Hirota Split 10-10 round
2014-03-23 UFN 38 N Parke vs. L Santos Majority Point Deduction
2013-12-07 UFN 33 A Silva vs. M Hunt Majority 10-8 round
2012-06-23 UFC 147 F Arantes vs. M Vieira Split 10-8 round
2012-03-03 UFC on FX 2 D Johnson vs. I McCall Majority 10-8 & 10-10 rounds
2011-02-27 UFC 127 J Fitch vs. BJ Penn Majority 10-8 round
2011-01-01 UFC 125 F Edgar vs. G Maynard Split 10-8 round
2010-12-11 UFC 124 R Natal vs. J Bongfeldt Majority 10-8 round
2010-10-16 UFC 120 T Browne vs. C Kongo Unanimous Point Deduction
2010-01-11 UFN 20 T Tavares vs. N Lentz Majority Point Deduction
2009-11-21 UFC 106 C Uno vs. F Camões Majority Point Deduction
2007-07-07 UFC 73 R Evans vs. T Ortiz Unanimous Point Deduction
2003-06-06 UFC 43 V White vs. I Freeman Split 10-10 round
2003-02-28 UFC 41 BJ Penn vs. C Uno Split 10-10 round
* - As of August 4th, 2019

Notes

  • Caol Uno, BJ Penn, and Lando Vannata have been involved in two UFC draws.
  • Ken Shamrock fought to two time-limit draws in SEG-era UFC fights.
  • There was only 1 UFC draw between June 6, 2003 and November 20, 2009.

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