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UFC 167 GSP over Hendricks decision has some calling for reform of NSAC

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UFC president Dana White isn't the only one who wants a housecleaning at the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Ethan Miller

As we posted yesterday, UFC president Dana White went off on the Nevada State Athletic Commission about the judging decision that gave Georges St-Pierre the win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on Saturday.

"The alternatives are that the governor needs to step in and fix the incompetence that is happening in the state of Nevada that used to be the best commission in the world. It's absolute 100 percent incompetence, and it needs to stop, and I'm scared to come back here and do fights. I'm afraid of this state," White said at the post-fight press conference.

Where Dana White leads, others follow.

Here's Dave Doyle of MMA Fighting leading the chorus:

At what point does commission executive director Keith Kizer recognize the obvious?

The sport of mixed martial arts has evolved rapidly. Nevada officials haven't. Herb Dean, the best referee in the business, was on the card last night, but inexplicably was not in the main event. While John McCarthy can't get a gig in Nevada, Kim Winslow called several fights on last night's card.

At UFC 155, Adelaide Byrd turned in the single worst scorecard for a fight I've ever seen in eight years covering MMA, giving Melvin Guillard a 30-27 decision in a fight in which the other two judges gave opponent Jamie Varner a 30-27 win. Her punishment? She was given a main-event judging spot for Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar at UFC 156. And she's since been back for the TUF 17 Finale, WSOF 3 and UFC 162 (Thanks again, here, to the people at MMADecisions, who do invaluable work).

Moving multimillion-dollar events out of state is the sort of thing that would hurt Nevada's bottom line. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval already stepped in once, after the Mayweather-Alvarez fiasco. If Kizer won't do something about it, maybe it's time for Sandoval to give things a second look.

Sherdog's Mike Sloan also piped up:

MMA seems to be sliding into the same slimy pit that swallowed boxing, and if something is not done soon, I fear a far more dubious judgment than the one that decided St. Pierre-Hendricks will wind up painting the sport in the most negative light. It is clear that far too many of these cageside judges have no clue what they are watching.

Honesty compels us all to admit Hendricks made a significant tactical error by all but handing the fifth round to St. Pierre on a silver platter. Whether his coaches encouraged him to coast or he elected to do so on his own, hopefully he will never make the same mistake again. Still, even with giving away the fifth, Hendricks deserved to be declared the winner.

Was it the worst decision ever rendered? No, not even close, but the ball was dropped by D'Amato and Weeks. As a result, the Nevada Athletic Commission once again finds itself under fire from fans, media and the UFC. My concern is that nothing will be done until too much damage has already been done.

Jeremy Botter advises restraint:

There's no question that a major overhaul is needed for judging. It's been that way for a while, and it's not something that is unique to Nevada. Bad decisions happen all over the world, but the lights are brightest in Las Vegas and thus are in the spotlight more than they are anywhere else.

But here's the thing: White's tirades toward the commission aren't going to help anything. Major changes to the rules and judging don't happen overnight, and publicly berating the commission won't do anything but solidify those grudges White spoke of.


I think we can all agree that judging and officiating needs an overhaul. But White's angry rants aren't going to help anything, and he might end up doing more harm than good.

What do you think? Is there a problem at the NSAC? Is Dana White helping or hurting?

SBN coverage of UFC 167: St-Pierre vs. Hendricks

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