Few decisions in MMA have sparked as much recent controversy as Paddy Pimblett’s win over Jared Gordon at UFC 282 last Saturday, December 10th. But while longtime weird-card judging notable Doug Crosby has taken the brunt of fan & pundit wrath for his decision to award victory Liverpool’s rising star, there were two other men who shared the responsibility of making that decision.
One of those men was Ron McCarthy, son of famed MMA referee, judge, and officiating instructor ‘Big’ John McCarthy. Like Crosby and fellow longtime adjudicator Chris Lee, Ron McCarthy turned in a 29-28 scorecard for Paddy Pimblett. On a recent episode of the ‘Weighing In’ podcast, Big John made no exceptions for family ties when putting his son’s card on blast.
“No f-cking way Paddy Pimblett won that fight,” John McCarthy said of the UFC 282 co-main result (transcript via MMA Mania). “My son was one of the judges and he asked me and I said, ‘You got that wrong. I thought Jared Gordon won 29-28.’”
The current Bellator broadcast team member went on to break down how he felt the fight should have been scored, according to current judging criteria—giving the first and third rounds to Gordon. McCarthy also noted that his son and the other judges may have been influenced by the out-sized crowd pop every time Pimblett had a moment of success.
“First round, Jared Gordon hit Paddy Pimblett with a left hook like it was a magnet. He hit him over and over and over again and he stunned him. You could see it,” he continued. “Now, Paddy had his things, but this can happen when you’re a judge sitting there. You’re getting the crowd responding every time Paddy does something. Because truthfully, Paddy did not punch as many times as Jared Gordon. He didn’t land as much as Jared Gordon and the shots that he landed were not as good.
“But when you get the crowd reaction and that’s what you’re hearing, there’s times when you’re not seeing that angle but you’re hearing the reaction of the crowd and it’s an influencer. And I think they got influenced by what the crowd was into.”
“Jared Gordon won that first round, he won the third round, I give Paddy Pimblett the second round,” McCarthy said. “But if you go back and you watch that fight, that first round, a lot of people said it was really close, not really that close. I’m not like one guy ran over the other, but it’s pretty clear Jared Gordon should have won that round.”
For his part, ‘The Baddy’ has vociferously defended the judges decision in his fight, and seems to feel there should be little controversy regarding the scores turned in.
“Everyone’s got an opinion, lad,” Pimblett told the assembled media during his post fight presser. “Opinions are assholes, you know what I mean? Everyone’s got one. I know I won that fight. Simple as. I deal in facts, lad. And I won a unanimous decision. It’s not even like it was a split decision. Look at his face and look at mine!? Fights get scored on damage now. I landed a lot more damage. End of.”
In the meantime, the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department has opened an investigation into Crosby’s role in another recent fight, where he turned in a dissenting 50-45 scorecard for Danny Sabatello in Sabatello’s recent split decision loss to Rafeon Stots at Bellator 289. No word yet if the Nevada Athletic Commission plans to review any of the scoring for UFC 282.