Judge Who Scored Fight for Melendez Trains Under Cesar Gracie

April 22, 2013 9:04 am by bjpenn.com staff 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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