The judge responsible for the controversial scoring of James Krause vs Trevin Giles at UFC 247 allegedly had a major conflict of interest.
Judge Joe Soliz scored the closely contested bout in favour of Giles. This ultimately affected the split decision victory that Giles claimed after three rounds.
According to TSN, the judge had established connections to Trevin Giles’ gym, Elite MMA. Soliz trained at the academy under coach Eric Williams where he earned a blackbelt. Eric Williams was also cornering Giles at UFC 247. Soliz later confirmed the connection to TSN.
“Under Eric Williams of Elite MMA, I received my black belt in 2008,” he said. “I left Elite in 2010, and received my first-, second-, and third-degree under Octavio Couto.
“I haven’t been in contact or associated with [Elite MMA] in over eight years,” he claimed.
The bout in question was a close call, but most observers felt the first round belonged to James Krause. If Soliz had scored the bout in favour of Krause instead of Giles, the split decision outcome would have changed with Krause winning.
The potential conflict of interest and impact on the UFC 247 fight outcome was enough to send James Krause into a moment of rage.
“If this isn’t the most frustrating (expletive) for me in the world I don’t know what… how is this not a conflict of interest?” Krause wrote on Instagram. “Training at someone’s gym for 10+ years and receiving a black belt from the coach corner my opponent.
“I no way am I mad I lost the fight, it was close. 1 was mine, 2 was his, and 3 was a toss up. But round 3 was given to me on 2/3 cards,” Krause continued. “It was round 1 they scored for him. After a take down and almost 4 minutes of back control, not to mention almost finishing the RNC, I don’t know how they would give that round to him.
“This sport has been around for too long to not start making changes. I know the Texas State Athletic Commission wont do a damn thing about my fight. They never do but I hope the @ufc, @danawhite, and the state commissions can come together to actually make the judging for OUR sport, not boxing and hold the people doing these jobs accountable.
This is a disgrace to our sport. Not just my fight but multiple examples of incompetence from the same judge.”
“So frustrated to even read this shit… and remember I lost half my purse because of this guy,” Krause concluded.
Krause’s manager, Jason House, plans to appeal the decision.
“I was informed that one of the judges of the James Krause versus Trevin Giles bout had a close previous relationship with one of Giles’ coaches.
“If true, this is deeply concerning. These athletes risk and sacrifice too much for there not to be a fair playing field. As we are currently in the appeals process, we are withholding further comment. It is our hope that the appeals process will work as designed and uphold the integrity of our sport.”
Do you think Trevis Giles win over James Krause should be overturned?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/18/2020.