If you failed to miss Roy Jones Jr.'s "March Badness" MMA/Boxing card on Saturday night from Pensacola, Florida, we don't blame you. Aside from a Din Thomas knockout, Bobby Lashley believing he could plow Guida through a turnbuckle, and Roy Jones Jr. clowning a guy in the ring even at age 40, it was a fairly lackluster event. But that didn't stop it from producing some controversy in our old friend, the judging department.
Roy Nelson effectively maintained top control for most of the fight on Saturday night against MMA veteran Jeff Monson. He was able to control Monson in the corner, put him on his back multiple times, secure takedowns, and... from my viewpoint, win this fight. Unfortunately, all three judges saw it as a 29-28 unanimous decision to Jeff Monson.
Oddly enough, Seth Petruzelli, the MMA color commentator for the event, was about as dumbfounded as any MMA fan watching was when the decision was announced. Anybody watching this bout likely gave Nelson the first and second rounds, although the second round seemed to be the deciding factor. I'm not exactly sure what judges were watching, but Monson's knees to Nelson's gut were the only significant strikes of the round after Nelson put Monson down twice and controlled him in the corner.
But hey, cheer up fans... boxing had to one-up MMA in the bad judging department. Kieyon Bussey and Robert DaLuz went to a decision after Bussey, a hometown boxer, was pummeled for most of the fight by DaLuz. Unbelievably, the judges scored the bout in favor of Bussey. Right after the decision was announced, boxing commentator Nate Campbell said "It wasn't a little home cooking, they put a meal out tonight: chicken, rice...".
While I'm not inclined to talk about the Bussey-DaLuz fiasco, the Monson vs. Nelson bout once again asks questions regarding judging criteria, and more importantly, are these judges actual MMA judges or boxing judges? Even if these were boxing judges, how did Monson actually win that bout? He never landed any significant blows that damaged Nelson, and Nelson was more of the aggressor, pushed for takedowns, and controlled Monson in the corner.
It seems that a lot of these Athletic Commissions have incompetence running rampant throughout their ranks. Bad judging is usually the product of either boxing judges turning to MMA judging without proper training, corruption, or MMA judges who don't have a real grasp of the concepts on how to score a fight. Of course, it doesn't help that there is no clear determining document or unified rules on how to judge an MMA fight either. Every judge has his/her own style, and until something is done within the commissions to train these people properly, we're going to continue seeing these types of decisions.