Judge Who Scored Fight for Melendez Trains Under Cesar Gracie

April 22, 2013 9:04 am 71 Comments
Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez


This past Saturday, at UFC on FOX 7, UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson brought yet another title fight into the championship rounds, winning a razor-thin split decision victory that could have justifiably gone either way. When it was all said and done, it seemed like a typical Benson Henderson fight with a typical decision victory.

What stood out though was the fact that Gilbert Melendez won the fight on one of the judges scorecards, a card that was filled out by an member of the Gracie Fight Team under Cesar Gracie. This judge is Wade Vierra. He had the fight scored 47-48 for Melendez, who is also a member of the Gracie Fight Team.

Now this isn’t to assume the Vierra purposely scored a fight in favor of a fighter that he could have held some bias towards, as Melendez. The fight, like I said, was extremely close and without this affiliation, no one would have looked twice at one judge going against the grain. This seems more like an peculiar coincidence.

Either way, a challenger must simply do more than eek out a decision against a champion to take his belt and the majority of the judges felt that Melendez hadn’t done enough. Still, this is something to think about when selecting judges in a system that is far from perfect.

Here is Wade Vierra’s LinkedIn Profile header:


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