UFC 247 judge Joe Soliz had a conflict of interest when judging the James Krause vs Trevin Giles bout during the event.
While there were many great fights and stories told during the event in Houston, many fans and media members alike couldn’t escape the fact that there were quite a few questionable decisions regarding the judging. One such example came during Trevin Giles vs. James Krause which closed out the prelims section of the card.
The general consensus during the middleweight contest was that Krause managed to win the first round of the fight, but Soliz actually scored the round for Giles — and if he’d gone the other way, provided the rest of his scoring remained intact, Krause would’ve won the fight via split decision instead of losing it.
As reported by TSN, it turns out that Soliz actually has a connection to Giles’ gym and head coach Elite MMA & Eric Williams.
Judge Joe Soliz, whose scorecards were a major topic of conversation following UFC 247, earned his BJJ black belt under Eric Williams in 2008.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 18, 2020
Williams is the head coach for Trevin Giles and Soliz was an instructor at Williams' gym until 2010.
Story: https://t.co/2nGbeGtUZb pic.twitter.com/CBgH9SouaB
“Under Eric Williams of Elite MMA, I received my black belt in 2008,” Soliz 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,” Soliz said.
Williams himself spoke about the link between Soliz and himself.
“I’ve known Joe for years,” Williams said. “I haven’t talked to him in probably a year and a half or two years. The problem is it’s kind of a small world, so you get people crossing paths and I think that you’re going to have stuff like that happen. Whenever you can prevent it, I would. But again, I don’t worry about it. If you finish the fight, you don’t have to worry about those kinds of things. I really don’t concern myself with it.”
Krause’s manager Jason House has confirmed that they are planning on appealing the decision.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/18/2020.