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Judge Douglas Crosby Explains Why He Thought Frankie Edgar Beat BJ Penn 50-45

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Well, sort off... A lot of people felt that the scoring for the bout were unfair, and majority of the criticism was directed towards Judge Douglas Crosby's scorecards which, for some reason, had BJ Penn losing each and every round of the fight. Crosby decided to troll talk about the scoring in a UG thread he named "The JUDGING GENIUS returns from the Middle East".

Here's a compiled version of the dozens of comments he slowly posted on the UG:

So....Just returned from Abu Dhabi, and I haven't been in my duplex more than 20 minutes, when the Doorman calls me on the intercom in a state of panic.... Seems there are hundreds of moaning, howling ghouls in "RVCA" and "Prodigy/Hilo Boy" T-shirts surrounding the building like extras from "Zombieland"... And they're chanting "50/45!" over and over, and trying to push their way into the lobby..... Thank God the Father and Sonny Jesus none of them have the elevator key to my penthouse.....So I think I'm safe for awhile... Which gives me a little time to talk to you, my dear friends.

So I'm wondering.....Should I tell you how I scored Penn/Edgar, and why, right now, up front? But that seems kinda like the Pope or the King back in the day, just writing down what he wants to say, and having one of his burly churls nail it to the door of the church for everyone to read...It seems a bit...distant, a bit 'above it all', don'tcha think? Because God knows I have plenty to say and no shortage of burly churls; no dearth of hulking familiars to do my bidding have I....

Perhaps just announcing my presence is enough for now. Perhaps simply allowing some of you, my faithful friends and fellow MMA devotees, to say what YOU want to say is more....Democratic; more... Enlightened... A behaviour more consistent with a Progressive such as myself

After all, isn't that my job? Isn't it incumbent upon me, as a Judge, to make myself available for your criticism? If I take the plane ride, and get to the venue, and score the fights, I have a kind of....Contract with the fans; a contract that specifically allows you to criticize me. And I will be glad to defend the terms of that agreement, even if it means I have to take the weight sometimes... I knew this was coming as I scored the fight. I knew the inescapable inevitability of criticism was waiting back here. I saw the ride; and I bought a ticket


So allow me to cast up my accounts with you as equitably as possible, won't you? Interestingly, I've been slightly taken aback by the response my score for the Penn/Edgar fight has engendered...but not in the way (some of) you guys have responded....I kind of expected that. What's been surprising is how many people, at the event, in the hotel, at the airport, fighters, production staff, etc., have told me how glad they were that I scored the FIGHT, and not the FIGHTERS.

Are you guys with me on that, even just a little? Can you understand what I mean by that? May I also mention that I forgive you? For your anger, your insults, and your crassness? NOT all of you....You know who you are. Yes; YOU: Over there, with the purple Nikes on, waiting for the spaceship in the tail of comet to come take you to a world where everyone agrees with you....and YOU over there...the one who thinks his heroes never lose.... So yes, I forgive you. I started this thread knowing that a percentage of you would behave the way you have. I knew you would when I scored the fight as well. I forgave you then. And even as I forgave you, I prepared myself to defend your right to criticize me, and make myself available for that criticism. Isn't that something I kind of...started out by saying?


All of that being said..... I've mentioned numerous times on other threads that the scoring criteria exist for a reason, just like the 10-point "must" system exists for a reason; and that the scoring criteria are guidelines within which Judges arrive at a decision on a round-by-round basis. It is a Judge's obligation to interpret the fight and use the criteria as guidelines. But a fight is an observed event that does require interpretation, observation, wisdom. And, in my considered opinion, Edgar dictated the tone of the fight, successfully implemented and executed a strategy, landed better strikes, and basically outworked Penn.

And that is an interpretation by a ringside observer with an understanding and appreciation of MMA, who has Judged numerous (hundreds) of fights. I re-watched the fight in my hotel in Abu Dhabi and saw nothing that would influence me to score it any differently. I support and encourage your right to criticize my scoring. And I forgive you for your attacks of both a professional, and, regrettably, personal nature.

Well there you have it. It took him more than 12 pages of posting bizarre rants, slowly milking - and annoying - people before finally getting to the point where he gives out a vague explanation for scoring it the way that he did. I may not agree with it still, but according to him, Edgar landed the better strikes and outworked Penn for each and every round. It is also interesting to point out that the "cageside point-of-view" excuse got thrown out the window as Crosby firmly stands by his decision even after watching a replay of the bout.

HT: The UG

Update by Brent Brookhouse:  From my piece on SB Nation about Crosby's rather lame defense of his scoring:

Somewhat predictably Crosby does fall back on the ambiguous and undefinable idea of "ring generalship" or "Octagon control" as a defense.  He references "dictating tone" and "executing strategy" and "outworking Penn" when you will not find ideas such as strategy execution or workrate in the scoring guidelines.  The idea that Edgar landed better shots is also completely absurd in the context of the early portion of the bout.  Doug even goes as far as to wrap his explanation up with a good ol' fashioned argument from authority by using the fact that he has scored many fights to imply that he has scored this (or any) fight correctly.

There is much concern for me over the idea that Crosby feels it is the judges responsibility to interpret strategy execution.   For example, while Edgar was clearly working on the idea that he wanted to get in and out with speed and try to pick a few points up with quick punches, Penn was using a counter-striking style that was using the moments when Edgar came in to counter with much more powerful shots of his own.  Looking at the information we have available from the fight it is very clear that Penn was much more effective in his implementation of this strategy for at least the first two rounds.