Rafael dos Anjos wonders if judging criteria has changed due to the pandemic

Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee

UFC welterweight contender Rafael dos Anjos wonders if the coronavirus pandemic has led to a change in the judging criteria in MMA.

UFC Florida featured a number of controversial decisions that left fans, fighters including dos Anjos, and even the media up in arms on social media. The co-main event featured Claudia Gadelha win a controversial split decision over Angela Hill, while elsewhere on the main card Dan Ige won a hotly-contested split decision over Edson Barboza and Song Yadong won a surprising unanimous decision over Marlon Vera. The prelims also featured a close decision between Nate Landwehr and Darren Elkins.

Taking to social media following the event, dos Anjos wondered on his Twitter whether the coronavirus pandemic has led to a change in the judging criteria in MMA.

Did judging criteria change with the pandemic? Who gets beat up more takes the W?

Dos Anjos is certainly not alone in his questioning of the judges. MMA fans are used to questionable decisions from the judges from time to time, but to have four fights where the scorecards were scrutinized is more than usual. You can’t blame the winning fighters for the judges to give them the nod, but you can feel bad for the fighters who lost their fights. Remember, losing on the scorecards means no win bonus.

Vera, for instance, took to social media after his loss to Yadong to openly question the scorecards in his fight, as many fans and media felt he won. Losing the fight to Yadong cost Vera a potential win bonus, not to mention hurts his standing in the division even though many people thought he should have got the judges’ nod. Every MMA fighter knows the possibility of the judges going the other way, but when it happens so often you start to see people like dos Anjos openly question what the judges were thinking.

Do you agree with Rafael dos Anjos?