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Update: UFC pulled judge Howard Hughes from Macau event after first two fights

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Following widely derided decisions in the night's first two bouts, the UFC pulled one of their judges from the card.

When the UFC travels abroad, they get to act as their own commission. It's a fact that rarely comes into play, as their events tend to look and feel the same wherever they take place. Other than a history of catching a few more drug test failures, the UFC's private commission efforts usually fly way under the radar. Macau will go down as something of an exception then, as Dana White revealed, during the post fight presser, that the UFC had one of their judges removed from duty following the night's first two fights. While White didn't name the judge removed, Sherdog pointed out that international UFC staple Howard Hughes was the only judge to work both fights.

"Did you ask me sir, if it was true, that a judge was removed?" White said. "Yes, he was. He was involved in the first fight and the second fight. I told the guys to go let him grab some beer and some popcorn and go sit down and start watching some fights, not judging them."

The night's first fight was contested between Elizabeth Phillips and Milana Dudieva. Dudieva's nasty habit of pulling guard meant she spent a lot of time on the bottom, getting controlled and generally not generating a lot of effective offense. She took home the split decision. Phillips took to Facebook with her displeasure.

"I got robbed so fucking bad. I hate the UFC. I was on top dominating all three round [sic] elbowing this Russian price [sic] of crap. And they said I lost split decision. Anybody says that I lost is a price [sic] of crap and will get deleted from my friends list cause I whooped her ass the whole fight. I'm done fighting for a while cause this is some corrupt shit."

Yao Zhikui, who lost the night's second bout to Royston Wee, also by split decision, was a bit more stayed in his criticism, if no less exasperated:

"Where did I lose that fight? It must be because I didn't get the knockout. I'm sorry to the fans, I really thought I had that but I am grateful for their support. I'm speechless right now."

Pulling the judge from this card continues the UFC's generally solid history of policing it's events well (usually suspending and fining fighters) when running it's own shop. Hopefully this action toward one of their own privately appointed judges will cause them to give their in house process even more scrutiny, especially when it comes to deciding which officials to take with them. It's unknown at this time if either Phillips or Zhikui will receive their win bonus following their fights, but considering the circumstances, both fighters have every right to argue for it.

UPDATE: MMAJunkie was able to confirm that Hughes was in fact the judge pulled, however the production team was not informed of the change and Hughes' name was therefor read out as the judge in the main event. In fact, Garrith Harriman was cageside, in Hughes' place. Dana White also gave a statement on the decision, saying it was made in the midst of "a pretty bad meltdown."

"I know a lot of people, the media included and the fans I saw on Twitter, felt that Phillips won the fight, but I thought Milana won the fight, so I disagree," White said. "But at the end of the day, who gives a s-t what I think. It's the judges. They pick the winner, and that's all that matters."
"It wasn't great tonight," White said. "It wasn't, and it drives me crazy. So, I can sit there and ridicule Nevada, California and all these other places we go, but nobody to point the finger at tonight except for us."