Rogan berates sport’s judges

An angry rant by color commentator Joe Rogan during the broadcast of an Ultimate Fighting Championship event on Saturday night has helped create Internet furor over judging in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Rogan was irate after Leonard Garcia was awarded a split decision over Nam Phan on “The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale” card at the Palms.

Phan dominated the second round and was awarded the round on all three scorecards. Two judges awarded Garcia the first and third rounds, which were much closer. The crowd booed loudly and chanted their displeasure with the verdict.

Rogan said he believes poor judging has become an epidemic in the sport, and he pointed a finger squarely at Keith Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission.

“(This) is the situation because of the (NAC). It has nothing to do with the UFC,” Rogan said. “I think (Kizer) needs to clean house. There’s a few very good judges surrounded by a bunch of incompetent morons who know nothing about the sport.”

Kizer, who felt watching the fight live that Phan should have been victorious, didn’t want to get into a war of words.

“He’s got the right to say what he believes, and that’s fine, but when someone starts calling people names, I’m not going to respond to it directly,” said Kizer, who said he has received about 600 e-mails about the decision. “It’s not worth my time and it’s probably not worth his time, either.”

Kizer said he was “shocked” by two judges awarding Garcia the third round after watching the fight cageside, but added he was offered an explanation from the judges.

“They felt Garcia fought all five minutes of that round and Phan did not. He took a lot of that round off. He was a lot less active and less aggressive,” Kizer said. “On the flip side, I think he landed more punches, so that’s why I was surprised.”

Kizer and Marc Ratner, the UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs and a former NAC executive director, said the current 10-point must system long used in boxing does work for MMA. That doesn’t mean alternatives aren’t being explored.

Kizer and Ratner also mentioned the half-point system set to be tested in amateur bouts in California, in which close rounds could also be scored 10-9.5 or 10-8.5 to give a little more flexibility.

“It’s still a brand new sport. You’re really only talking about the last 10 years,” Ratner said. “You’re going to have some controversies, but we can’t be ostriches, either. We, as a sport, need to keep improving.”

Kizer said the half-point system is so far the most viable potential alternative he’s come across.

“I want to see how it works out in California,” he said, adding he’s open to anything that could improve judging, including video monitors.

■ SONNEN UPDATE — UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen had his suspension reduced from one year to six months by the California State Athletic Commission after a hearing last week.

Sonnen tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his loss to champion Anderson Silva in Oakland in August.

During his Thursday hearing, Sonnen claimed he takes testosterone to treat hypogonadism, a condition where the sex glands produce little or no hormones. The hearing, however, focused more on his failure to disclose his treatment than the validity of his excuse. Kizer said Sonnen would likely be required to appear at a commission meeting in person before being licensed again in Nevada.

“I think there’s a lot of questions about him that need to be answered, and we want to give him a full and fair opportunity to respond to those questions,” Kizer said.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like