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‘Judges need to be held accountable’, Holly Holm’s team rails against officials after loss at UFC Vegas 55

Holly Holm’s team are not happy.

Holly Holm with Mike Winkeljohn after her fight with Ketlen Vieira at UFC Vegas 55.
Holly Holm with Mike Winkeljohn after her fight with Ketlen Vieira at UFC Vegas 55.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ketlen Vieira managed to score her second win in a row over former UFC champions this weekend when she took a split decision against Holly Holm. The fight, which happened in the main event slot at UFC Vegas 55, was a close affair with many viewers scoring in favour for Holm.

Despite what many fans and media members thought, two judges scored the fight 48-47 for Vieira. The other judge had it 48-47 for Holm. The win will likely catapult Vieira into the UFC’s bantamweight title picture. The loss stalls Holm’s attempts to work towards a sixth title fight.

Holm and her team have made it clear they are not happy with the result of the fight. The official Jackson Winkeljohn MMA Academy Instagram account has gone as far as to call for dramatic changes in MMA to address what they deem as bad decisions on the part of officials.

“Judges need to be held accountable for making mistakes,” read the post. “Just like everyone else is held accountable, penalized, and punished for wrong doings… Judges are not above everyone else… Why are their decisions so untouchable and are never overturned? If this is not fixed, the legitimacy of this sport is at question! PS: What’s the point of counting strikes if they don’t mean anything and judges don’t even look at the stats. What do they go by?”

According to Holm landed 61% of her significant strikes (96 of 157) compared to Vieira’s rate of 56% (85 of 151). Holm also landed 66 more total strikes than Vieira. Holm also recorded over ten minutes of control in the fight, compared to Vieira’s one and a half minutes.

For Holm, the loss breaks a two fight winning streak. She had beaten Irene Aldana and Raquel Pennington leading up to this one. Prior to those wins she lost to Amanda Nunes, via TKO, for the UFC bantamweight title.

Holm famously won that belt back in 2015 with a sensational head kick knockout of inaugural women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Holm is 4-6 since that win with over half those losses coming in title fights. In addition to the defeat to Nunes, Holm has missed out on gold versus Miesha Tate, Germaine de Randamie and Cris Cyborg.