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Dana White scored Anderson Silva fight for Brunson, but ‘you have to beat the judges’

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Dana White feels for Derek Brunson, and thinks the top ranked middleweight beat Anderson Silva, but doesn’t have much consolation for him beyond that.

UFC 208: Silva v Brunson Photo by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images

In the wake of UFC 208 Derek Brunson is not a happy man. The top ranked UFC middleweight took on MMA legend Anderson Silva last Saturday night. And while many thought he won, the three men seated ringside doing the judging didn’t agree.

“There’s no way he won that fight,” Brunson told Ariel Helwani the following Monday on the MMA Hour. “I heard fans say, ‘he’s an older guy, you didn’t do much, or you should have pushed more.’ I’m like, come on guys, look, watch the fight. Score the fight as it should be. People are like, ‘oh, he defended the takedowns,’ you don’t get points for defending takedowns.”

Brunson went on to cite stats that he out-landed Silva 39-8 in the first round (FightMetric has it at 43-9). Two of the three ringside judges gave Silva the first round. And Brunson isn’t just making his feelings about bad judging known in the media, apparently he texted UFC president Dana White about the fight as well.

“Brunson sent me a text,” White on the UFC 208 post-fight show on FS1 (transcript via MMA Fighting). “He’s obviously very upset, and you know, he said, ‘listen, this is how I support my family. And now I won’t get my win bonus when I feel like I won the fight.’ But it’s one of those things, man. I say it all the time. If you don’t want to get screwed by the judges, don’t let it go to the judges.

“It has nothing to do with me. You can text me, and I can feel for him, but it has nothing to do with me. You have to beat your opponent, and you have to beat the judges, unfortunately. That’s the business.”

White and the UFC have turned that phrase into something of a cliche. A way to spur fighters to be more exciting and less trusting in their ability to win a decision. Even after a result like this one, though, Brunson isn’t having it.

“Never leave to judges lol,” Brunson wrote in a post on Facebook. “That's what judges are for. Otherwise make it a fight to finish or someone quits. Dumbest statement ever. 19 of 23 media outlets had me winning. Including Dana who said it on an interview Fox Sports after the fight Ariel Helwani, Damon and Cormier along with 85% of others. I clearly won 29-28, some may say 30-27 but for sure 29-28. I lost a win, money and a career defining win over a legend who I would've been honored to have. Don't ask me anymore about the fight I'm done talking about it. On to the next!”

White did admit to scoring rounds one and three for Brunson, giving him the decision win. But, ultimately White’s job isn’t to pick UFC 208’s winners and losers. That’s down to the New York State Athletic Commission.

Hopefully, for Brunson’s sake, the UFC gets him booked into another fight soon; a new chance to get back some of the money he missed out on against Anderson. And maybe in a new state, under a new commission, with different judges.