Judge Sal D’Amato explains 10-8 scorecard for Michael Chandler in Charles Oliveira title fight at UFC 262

Charles Oliveira. Michael Chandler
Charles Oliveira TKO's Michael Chandler at UFC 262 (via @ufc)

Veteran MMA judge Sal D’Amato explained why he scored a 10-8 scorecard for Michael Chandler in the Charles Oliveira title fight at UFC 262.

Oliveira didn’t need the judges to come into the equation because he knocked Chandler out in the second round to win the vacant UFC lightweight belt. But the fact the first round was scored 10-8 for Chandler by Sal D’Amato and Chris Lee despite the fact Oliveira had back control on Chandler during the round is troubling. The correct scorecard according to most fans was a 10-9 Chandler card, but instead, we somehow got two 10-8 rounds instead. That led to UFC commentator Daniel Cormier taking the judges to town for their cards.

Thankfully, the scorecards never came into play because Oliveira finished the fight, but still, fans wanted to know why D’Amato scored the fight the way he did. Speaking to MMAjunkie.com Radio, D’Amato justified his controversial 10-8 Chandler scorecard.

“The criteria, if you read it, does call for that round, you could score it a 10-8. Now, I see the argument for 10-9, but that night I scored it 10-8, and one of the reasons why is, in the criteria, it states what is a 10-8,” D’Amato said of Chandler vs. Oliveira.

“Our criteria also states that a 10-8 round, if a fighter damages his opponent and doesn’t need to dominate the entire round. Well, I would say that Oliveira was damaged in that round. He was close to being finished. As far as myself and Chris Lee, who was the other gentleman who scored it (10-8), we both spoke a lot many, many times after that, and one of the reasons we scored it that way is because he was almost finished. Now, of course, Oliveira had his moments – took his back, took him down. To me, he wasn’t really threatening from the back. He held the position, and then Chandler reversed him, and then two minutes to go, really, (Chandler) almost knocked him out. Oliveira kind of turtled up and took some shots and then went onto his back. I think if he doesn’t go onto his back, that fight could be stopped with another punch. And so that’s why I did it.”

D’Amato also said that he might not have scored it 10-8 after realizing Oliveira wasn’t hurt as bad as he thought, but at that moment, he truly felt that it was a Chandler 10-8 round.

“At the time, real time, I thought, ‘I’m more 10-8 than 10-9,’ and that’s why I did it. That’s what we struggle with (as judges),” D’Amoto said.

What do you think about Sal D’Amato scoring the first round of Michael Chandler vs. Charles Oliveira 10-8 for Chandler?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM