Dana White Slams UFC 302 Judge: “Completely Insane”

“It was f***ing insane,” says White.

UFC President Calls for Ban on Judge from Major Fights

Referee Dave Tirelli might want to reconsider applying for any UFC judging assignments in the near future. Despite his experience since 2010, Tirelli has faced significant backlash after UFC 302. His decision to score Paulo Costa as the winner against Sean Strickland has ignited controversy, with UFC President Dana White among the loudest critics.

Tirelli scored the bout 49-46 in favor of Costa, a decision that starkly contrasted with the other two judges who saw Strickland as the clear winner, scoring the fight 50-45 and 49-46. This divergence resulted in Strickland securing a victory via split decision.

Dana White’s Outrage

Fans and media were unforgiving in their criticism of Tirelli’s scoring, with many calling for him to be barred from judging future matches. White did not hold back in his assessment:

“It wasn’t just off, it was f***ing insane,” White said regarding Tirelli’s scorecard. “It’s ridiculous. That guy should never (judge) another big fight again. They should send him back to the minor leagues and let him work on his judging. It’s absolutely unbelievable.”


Praise for Strickland

White also praised Strickland’s performance, highlighting his ability to control Costa, though he admitted the fight did not meet his expectations for excitement.

“It wasn’t the fight I expected,” White said. “Every time you see Paulo Costa in a fight, it’s a war. He usually goes to war, but tonight you could see he couldn’t get started. Brilliant to kick the leg the way he did. Strickland is tough as hell. He took leg kicks all night. I wonder how he’s walking because I haven’t heard anything but [Costa] caused major damage on that lead leg.”

White concluded by commending Strickland’s strategic approach:

“I thought [Strickland] fought a beautiful, perfect fight. He’s a very tricky guy to deal with and the way he throws those teep kicks and his hands are so good, he’s very elusive and has a beautiful jab, and he basically picked Costa apart and shut him down.”

UFC 302 Fight Card

UFC 302 featured a stacked card headlined by Islam Makhachev defending his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier and the co-main event between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa. Makhachev successfully retained his title, adding to the excitement of the evening   .

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