Texas commission responds to Joe Rogan & fans slamming UFC 247 judges
Unfortunately, controversy has overshadowed greatness in many ways following UFC 247. The event saw UFC champion Jon Jones defend his title against previously unbeaten Dominick Reyes via a decision that was heavily disputed. While many could see the reasoning in in Jones winning three rounds of the very close fight, judge Joe Solis, who scored the fight 49-46 to the reigning champ, was slammed by the MMA community. UFC commentator Joe Rogan was one of the most vocal following UFC 247, and now the Texas Commission has responded via MMA junkie.
“As in all athletic events, athletes, teams, judges, fans and media representatives can – and often do – have differing opinions about what happened in a combative sports match,” Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation spokesperson Tela Mange said in a statement.
“TDLR applauds the passion everyone is exhibiting about this sport. Comments have been made about the selection of the judges and the referees. In selecting ringside officials, TDLR takes into consideration recommendations made by UFC. As with all events, TDLR works closely with UFC and other promoters to ensure the quality and experience of referees and judges to protect the health and safety of the fighters.”
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It wasn’t just the UFC 247 main event that caused an uproar towards the Texas commission. Derrick Lewis vs Ilir Latifi, Lauren Murphy vs Andrea Lee and Andrew Ewell vs Jonathan Martinez all had scoring that was heavily critiqued. Rogan was extremely critical of the judges scoring, and also claimed that one of the judges wasn’t watching the Murphy vs Lee fight. Rogan said that the judge was watching the floor or his phone during the broadcast, a claim that now seems to have been corrected.
“Claims have been made that a judge was not paying attention to the fight and was looking down at the floor,” said Mange.
“One of the advances that UFC has made in the past several years has been to provide small video monitors below the floor level of the octagon for each judge to more closely monitor matches.”
While the Texas Commission cleared up the claims of a judge not watching the fight at UFC 247, there are still points of fair critique. The vast majority of those who scored the fight, whether it was in Jones’ or Reyes’ favour, do not have the current champ winning four rounds. Ewell winning 30-27 is also a heavily critiqued scoring, and there are several other examples.
Time and time again there have been controversial judges decisions that have highlighted the issues with MMA scoring. There will never be a perfect system, but the aftermath of UFC 247, despite the TDLR’s comments, shows that there is still much work to be done.