Judge Doug Crosby discusses his controversial scorecards from Bellator 289 and UFC 282

By Susan Cox - December 21, 2022

Judge Doug Crosby is discussing his controversial scorecards from Bellator 289 and UFC 282.

Paddy Pimblett, Jared Gordon, UFC 282, UFC

Crosby was directly involved in back-to-back controversial scorecards at Bellator 289 on Friday, Dec. 9 and then again at UFC 282 on Saturday, Dec. 10.

It was also of some concern that Crosby travelled from Connecticut to Las Vegas within 24 hours in order to judge both fights.

Criticism arose when Crosby scored the Bellator 289 bantamweight title fight between Raufeon Stots (19-1 MMA) and Danny Sabatello (13-2 MMA), 50-45 in favor of Sabatello, whereas the other two judges scored it 48-47 in favor of Stots.

The very next night Crosby scored 29-28 for Paddy Pimblett (20-3 MMA) over Jared Gordon (19-6 MMA) at UFC 282 in the co-main lightweight event. Many disagreed with Pimblett being given the victory, believing it was Gordon who had won the fight.

In speaking with Chael Sonnen during an episode of the ‘You’re Welcome’ podcast, Crosby addressed the criticism (h/t MMAJunkie):

“You’d have to ask yourself, before you accept that as valid criticism, I would qualify the source of that criticism and say is this a working class person making that critique or is it a fabulously wealthy person making that critique?” 

Continuing the MMA judge said:

“You’ve got to assign a numerical value to what you just saw, and on average you get about 15 seconds to turn that score in. And if you write off about five of those seconds for the time it takes to write it, that leaves you about 10 seconds to make a decision about who won a round and who lost a round.”

Doug Crosby provided some insight on his judging techniques and what he looks at overall:

“Over the last 15 years, when you talk to the fighters, the overarching comment – and I’m not going to call it a complaint, I’ll call it a comment or a concern, is that effective grappling is not given enough weight in the scoring criteria and recently, the scoring criteria has been modified and updated so that effective striking and effective grappling are considered equal. And if effective grappling is considered the equal of effective striking, and then you look at any of my scores through that newly ground mental lens, the scores may become easier to understand.”

Concluding, Crosby said:

“But that has to do with reading and understanding the criteria and I don’t know who does that and who doesn’t. I do know that when I talk to fighters they are overwhelmingly intelligent and articulate and courageous and I respect them all, for better or worse, and that’s what moves me forward, is what’s best for the fighters not what’s best for the coaches or the media. For the fighters and any fighter knows that they can discuss anything with me in private at any time.”

What do you think of veteran judge Doug Crosby’s remarks?

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