'We need to start holding judges accountable': MMA fans and pros react as Jon Jones claims razor-thin decision at UFC 247
Longtime UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will wake up on Sunday morning with the title belt once again in his possession but his UFC 247 opponent, Dominick Reyes, could be forgiven for expecting the same.
Jones was awarded the win on the scorecards (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) but the manner in which it came has been the source of debate since the moment it was announced in the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.Also on rt.com UFC 247: Jon Jones makes history as he retains light heavyweight title with controversial win over Dominick Reyes in Houston
Reyes, the undefeated challenger, appeared to have a good case for winning the first three rounds. His pace was troubling the usually extremely composed Jones, who found it hard to get to grips with the fight early on. The challenger out-struck the champion through the first 15 minutes of the fight, per official UFC statistics, and it was only in the final 10 minutes where Jones - perhaps sensing that his grasp on the championship belt was loosening - upped his intensity.
It proved to be enough. When the scorecards were announced and Jones was revealed as the victor, it set off a whirlwind of debate on both social media and the broadcast itself as to the veracity of Jones' win and the state of judging in mixed martial arts as a whole.
I had Reyes in the first three rounds. Credit to Jones on coming on strong 4th and 5th but I would of guessed Reyes won that fight on scorecards.— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) February 9, 2020
Wow @ufc like you couldn’t seem more corrupt! Jon Jones did NOT win that fight. 3 rounds to 2, for Reyes and that can’t be argued! TRASH! You stole that from the man the earned it. Terrible!— Jamie Varner (@jamievarner) February 9, 2020
Seriously, We need to start holding judges accountable. It’s bullshit that when they make a bad call they still get paid. #UFC247— Julian marquez (@JMarquezMMA) February 9, 2020
Daniel Cormier, the most heated rival of Jones' career, was a little less scathing in his assessment of the fight and the scoring, though he did admit that the lone 49-46 scorecard in favor of Jones was unusual.
The Rock, meanwhile, chose to stay out of it.
Not robbery. Close fight, could have gone either way. 3-1 or 2-2 going into 5th. I thought 3-2 Reyes but the fight was so close it could have gone either way.— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) February 9, 2020
Helluva fight from @DomReyes and one day he’ll be a GREAT @ufc champion. Congrats @JonnyBones, the GOAT on his record setting performance. Huge respect to you both. Great night of fights!👏🏾👏🏾👊🏾 #UFC247— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 9, 2020
Israel Adesanya, the UFC middleweight champion who has been engaged in very verbal rivalry with Jones in recent months, opted for a more streamlined appraisal of the fight and Jones' performance, tweeting three simple letters in response.
Max Holloway, another former UFC champion, took another angle and said that fighters should be aware of the official scores after each round and that combat sports' are the only activities in which athletes don't know a result until the match is over.
Lol— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) February 9, 2020
Is our sport the only major sport where you don't see score until game is over? What would harm be in judges showing their scores after each round? Honest question not a diss— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) February 9, 2020
Much like another close Jones victory several years ago against Alexander Gustafsson, this fight will almost certainly have a sequel. Reyes' status as a top dog at 205lbs is assured for now at least, meaning that there will be several big fights coming down the pipe for the 30-year-old.
The length of time he will have to wait for another opportunity at Jones will be an interesting 'tell' from both the UFC and the champion as to how close he came to wresting the title from him on Saturday night in Texas.Also on rt.com ‘I got flat money’: Donald Cerrone says he got NO pay-per-view cash for Conor McGregor fight at UFC 246