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Levin vs Marcus fight video: Who really won Glory 21's Artem Levin vs Simon Marcus?

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Artem Levin and Simon Marcus fought to a controversial draw at Glory 21. Now, before their rematch, revisit that fight to see if the judges got it right.

Tonight, Artem Levin and Simon Marcus headline Glory 27 in a much anticipated Middleweight title fight. These two last squared off at Glory 21 last May, with Levin walking away with his title thanks to a much disputed draw. Tonight's fight aims to both close the trilogy (Marcus is currently up 1-0-1), and clear up the controversy surrounding that draw.

To get ready for Levin vs. Marcus III, here is a look back at their last fight, with a close eye on the judging. Just how controversial was the decision, and were the judges truly wrong? I analyzed the fight again, and I invite you to do the same (watch the full fight video above).

Before jumping in, it's important to be reminded of the criteria Glory uses to judge their fights. According to their official rules, here is how a fight should be scored:

1.2.11. Criteria on which the composition of the score by the judges is based
The minus points accrued from penalization are first deducted from the points scored before the final score is made known. Three or five judges will evaluate the relative effectiveness of each fighter's performance according to the following prioritized criteria.
A. Number of knockdowns.
B. Damage inflicted on the opponent.
C. Number of clean strikes with spectacular techniques (flying and spinning techniques, etc.)
D. Number of clean strikes with normal techniques.
E. Degree of Aggressiveness or Ring Generalship (whichever has greater impact on the round)
It should be noted that in assessing the general impression, attack is valued higher than defense.

1.2.12. Examples of scores awarded
· 10-10: Not even a marginal advantage can be determined according to the established criteria
· 10- 9: One fighter has demonstrated an advantage in effectiveness
· 10- 8: One fighter has demonstrated an advantage in effectiveness by merit of a knockdown
· 10- 7: One fighter has demonstrated an advantage in effectiveness by merit of two knockdowns

With that criteria in mind, let's take a close, round by round look back at Levin vs. Marcus II.

ROUND 1:
Knockdowns: Even. No knockdowns scored.
Damage inflicted: Even. No significant damage to either man.
Clean strikes with spectacular techniques: Even. Neither man landed anything of note in this category.
Clean strikes with normal techniques: Levin. He had some very effective body shots that got through Marcus's guard nicely. For Marcus, much of his attack was in the clinch, which was not landed cleanly. Most of his kicks were blocked or caught by Levin.
Score: 10-9 Artem Levin

ROUND 2:
Knockdowns: Even. No knockdowns scored.
Damage inflicted: Even. No significant damage to either man.
Clean strikes with spectacular techniques: Even. Neither man landed anything of note in this category.
Clean strikes with normal techniques: Levin. Again, it's Levin's punching that carries this round. He has good clean jabs plus straight right counters. Marcus continues to work in the clinch, but it's not clean.
Score: 10-9 Artem Levin

ROUND 3:
Knockdowns: Even. No knockdowns scored.
Damage inflicted: Even. No significant damage to either man.
Clean strikes with spectacular techniques: Even. Neither man landed anything of note in this category.
Clean strikes with normal techniques: Slight advantage Levin. This was, in my opinion, the toughest round to score. Neither man is able to land many clean shots at all due to the high level of defense involved here. What Levin does particularly well is get his gloves in the way any time Marcus throws. The result is some contact from Marcus, but little of it landing 100% clean. If that is what the criteria calls for - "clean" strikes - there's not too much from Marcus to point at here. There's also very little from Levin though.
Aggressiveness / Ring Generalship: With the advantage in the above category so minimal, I looked here, but again, see nothing to distinguish the two men. Marcus is perhaps slightly more aggressive, but does his aggression have a great impact on the round? I do not think so, and so I fall back on the previous category.
Penalties: Levin -1 point for clinching.
Score: 9-9 even. I have it 10-9 Levin based on his very slight edge in clean strikes, minus the penalty point. I also could see this being a 10-10 - that depends how strongly judges are discouraged from awarding 10-10 rounds. If you go 10-10 here, minus the point becomes 10-9 Marcus.

ROUND 4:
Knockdowns: Even. No knockdowns scored.
Damage inflicted: Even. No significant damage to either man.
Clean strikes with spectacular techniques: Even. Neither man landed anything of note in this category.
Clean strikes with normal techniques: Marcus. He lands a few really effective clean shots here including a great front kick and uppercut. His defense is also on point, avoiding most shots. This is the easiest round to score so far.
Score: 10-9 Simon Marcus

ROUND 5:
Knockdowns: Even. No knockdowns scored.
Damage inflicted: Even. No significant damage to either man.
Clean strikes with spectacular techniques: Even. Neither man landed anything of note in this category.
Clean strikes with normal techniques: Marcus. Very similar to round 4. Marcus has effectively shut Levin down, as the champion lands almost nothing of note. Nice kicks from Marcus, including another good front kick.
Score: 10-9 Simon Marcus

FINAL SCORE: 47-47 DRAW

So at the end of the day, despite the controversy, I have it a draw. If as a judge I feel that a 10-10 is acceptable, then make it 48-47 Marcus. That said, I see why there is controversy - Marcus wins his rounds much bigger than Levin wins his, and the evaluation of "clean" shots is tricky. Does that mean there is a flaw in the system and the criteria? Maybe. But applying the established criteria to this fight makes a draw a very possible outcome, so perhaps the judges didn't do as bad a job as most think.

What do you think? Am I way off base here too?

See what happens with Levin vs. Marcus III tonight at Glory 27, airing live on UFC Fight Pass at 7:30 p.m. ET, and ESPN3 at 10:00 p.m. ET.