As the battle between Keith Jardine and Gegard Mousasi came to a close I knew a crime was about to be committed. Gegard Mousasi lost a point in the first round for an illegal upkick, a point deduction without any prior warning on a strike that did not land hard. But my problem isn't with the point deduction, that is the referee's call to make. My problem was knowing that judges were going to have also found a way to give the round to Jardine on the "strength" of his takedowns.
In the first round Jardine would get four takedowns, none of which did he hold Mousasi on the ground for more than 15 seconds. Also, Jardine landed no strikes on the ground while Mousasi was throwing hammerfists and elbows from his back. Meanwhile, Gegard was landing hard strikes on the feet that had Jardine running away at multiple points.
During the fight, Compustrike tweeted the following:
Mousasi 27-4 edge in power strikes landed in round one. Jardine had 4 takedowns, inflicted no ground damage
Fight Metric had Mousasi with a 27-8 edge in significant strikes in the first round and a 48-10 edge overall. Somewhat surprisingly only one judge gave the round to Jardine, but that still exposed a huge flaw in how fights are judged.
More disturbing than giving Jardine the first was Abe Belardo's indefensible awarding of round two to Jardine. In the round it was Gegard outlanding Jardine in significant strikes 23-7 and 40-8 overall. Jardine was only able to land two of his five attempted takedowns and still failed to do anything once the fight hit the ground.
Those two bizarre scoring decisions led to an announced majority draw that is, in my eyes, so much worse than the split decision wins awarded to Leonard Garcia against Chan Sung Jung and Nam Phan. In the Phan fight the judges all gave Phan the clear second round while round 1 (Phan with a 33-30 edge in strikes) and round 3 (35-21 edge for Phan) were awarded to Garcia on two scorecards. Phan should have won that fight, but those controversial first and third rounds were not as dominant as what Mousasi was doing to Jardine.
Mousasi blew away Jardine as far as I'm concerned, and was rewarded with a draw that derailed a title shot.
The other bizarre thing happening in the wake of the fight is fan reaction stating that Mousasi somehow looked bad in the fight. The only fighter to land more strikes on Jardine in his career was Matt Hamill. In that fight Hamill landed 77 strikes but was hit with 65. I don't remember a reaction of Hamill "looking bad" in a close fight, while Mousasi had a 73-18 edge in strikes. It was also the most effective shutting down of Jardine's offense in any fight that didn't end in a quick knockout.
Yes, the expectation was for Jardine to get knocked out. But there have been plenty of good fighters who weren't able to stop Keith and it's unfair to view what should have been scored a dominant win as some sort of failure on Gegard's part. The only failure was that of judges Abe Belardo and Lester Griffin in their scoring of the fight.