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Scouring the scoring: Was Angela Hill ‘robbed’ at UFC Vegas 45

A deep dive into the scoring of the second and third round of Amanda Lemos vs Angela Hill

Amanda Lemos defeated Angela Hill at UFC Vegas 45 via split decision
Amanda Lemos defeated Angela Hill at UFC Vegas 45 via split decision
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

There was some uproar over the scoring of the Amanda Lemos vs. Angela Hill fight at UFC Vegas 45. The main issues with the scoring were a 30-27 card for Lemos, and that Hill ended up on the wrong end of a split decision. WIth that, I took a deep dive into the scoring on the second and third round of the strawweight matchup.

The judges for the fight were Mike Bell, Douglas Crosby and Junichiro Kamijo, all scored the first round 10-9 for Lemos. Bell and Kamijo scored the second stanza for Hill and Crosby had it for

Lemos, with 10-9 scores. Crosby and Kamijo scored the final stanza 10-9 for Lemos, while Bell had it 10-9 for Hill.

For background on the “Scouring the Scoring” series and details on the review process, GO HERE.

The first thing one needs to do in scoring a fight is mute the commentary. Biases can seep into commentary and even worse, the UFC commentary team often provides incorrect information as to the scoring criteria, which can influence those who hear it (more on that later). The second thing one needs to do is get familiar with the prioritized criteria in MMA scoring — especially the first criteria, which is “effective striking/grappling.”

Effective Striking/Grappling

“Legal blows that have immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to contribute towards the end of the match with the IMMEDIATE weighing in more heavily than the cumulative impact. Successful execution of takedowns, submission attempts, reversals and the achievement of advantageous positions that produce immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to contribute to the end of the match, with the IMMEDIATE weighing more heavily than the cumulative impact.”

It shall be noted that a successful takedown is not merely a changing of position, but the establishment of an attack from the use of the takedown.

Round 2

This round was closer than some people would probably like to believe. Lemos took control of the round in the early moments and her striking was much more effective for the first 40 seconds of the fight. After that, Hill worked well in the clinch and she scored with knees to the body. It was those knees and a nice elbow that Hill landed with about two minutes left in the second stanza that gave Hill the round.

I scored Round 2 for Hill, but by no means would I categorize scoring the round in favor of Lemos outrageous or a robbery.

One thing that might have come into play for some in looking at this round was the fact that Hill was advancing and controlling the pace and the position of the fight, but remember, that only comes into play if “effective striking/grappling” are equal.

The only way the judges would consider Hill’s pressure or aggressiveness would be if the “effective striking/grappling” was equal. I think Hill’s knees to the body carried the round for her.

Again, this round was closer than many would like to believe, especially with no commentary.

With the first round being Lemos’ and the second going to Hill, the fight came down to the third and final stanza and it was Lemos who made the first statements in that round.

Round 3

Lemos opened with a powerful low kick, a right hook and a nasty front kick to the face. Hill came back with a low kick, but it was not equal in scoring to the strikes she absorbed from Lemos.

The fighters then exchanged straight punches in the open, again with Lemos landing the more effective strikes.

Hill scored a takedown after catching a leg kick, but she didn’t do anything with that takedown other than land two (not significant) strikes to the body on the mat before the two scrambled and Lemos scored a reversal.

The two then battled in close for a decent amount of time and Hill landed a nice elbow when they broke.

After the break, Lemos scored with a head kick and body kick before Hill tried — and failed — at getting a takedown. It was at this point where UFC commentator Paul Felder mentioned that Hill was “pushing the pace.”

“Pushing the pace” is not the first priority in scoring. I cannot stress this enough. If one fighter has a striking advantage, “effective aggression” or “fighting area control” is not to be considered when scoring a fight.

The final 50 seconds of the fight were interesting. Lemos landed a right that Hill answered with a head kick that landed as Lemos was backing up. Hill then landed a combo that was not particularly damaging before Lemos circled out.

Felder again gave some improper information which could have influenced those scoring the fight while listening to the commentary.

With 40 seconds left in the round, Felder said, “But it’s how is it going to be scored? You got Angela pressing forward, pushing the action on the takedowns…”

Again, this is not something that should be considered unless effective striking/grappling are equal and that was not the case in this matchup.

The final 30 seconds was fast-paced and featured a spinning elbow from Hill which landed on the arm of Lemos and caught her off balance and briefly put her to the mat, but overall, Lemos had the more powerful, damaging and effective striking in the final five minutes of the contest.

Again, this was a close round and if a judge was positioned in a certain spot, it would be easy to see how they could have scored a knockdown via spinning elbow to the head for Hill.

Final score

In my mind, Lemos won the fight. I think 29-28 in favor of Lemos was the proper score.

The fight was a close one, but it was not a robbery and the judges did not cost Angela Hill any money.