Following each UFC event, The MMA Corner will dive into the decision victories on the card and grade the performance of the event’s official judges. In this edition, we take a combined look at UFC 175 and The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale.

No matter how hard fans hope for a world where judges’ decisions don’t frustrate the masses, the simple fact is that controversial decisions come with the territory. Judges can only call it the way they see it from their seat, but there are times when they slip up and either miss the obvious, fail to pay attention or ultimately prove their inexperience by awarding the fight to the wrong individual.

It has been a rough last few months for properly scoring fights using the criteria of the unified rules and, unfortunately for fight fans, these two events were no different.

The first disagreement of the weekend came in the UFC 175 preliminary card bout between middleweights Chris Camozzi and Bruno Santos. The Brazilian would walk out of the cage with the split decision win after doing little more than laying on top of Camozzi for the majority of the final two rounds. In fact, Camozzi landed more significant strikes in both of those rounds, despite spending nearly seven of the 10 minutes on his back. In the final round, Camozzi connected with 31 strikes and a submission attempt in the final frame, while Santos simply held top position for half the round. Only one judge—Doug Crosby—rewarded the more active fighter for his efforts. Judges Chris Lee and Glenn Trowbridge both gave the nod to Santos for nothing more than his four takedowns landed. Unfortunately for Camozzi, the majority of the media scores also agreed with Lee and Trowbridge.

The preliminary card wasn’t all bad for the Nevada judges on Saturday night. During the second round of the welterweight bout between Kenny Robertson and Ildemar Alcantara, Robertson mounted the Brazilian and came very close to finishing the Brazilian. The dominant display was a textbook 10-8 round and judges Sal D’Amato, Junichiro Kamijo and Roy Silbert all scored it accurately.

Three of the four main-card bouts at UFC 175 went the distance, and despite the lone split verdict, there were multiple questionable scorecards.

In the opening bout between bantamweights Russell Doane and Marcus Brimage, it appeared that Brimage got the better of Doane in rounds two and three. The former featherweight peppered the legs of the Hawaiian with a barrage of leg kicks. Doane was able to secure two brief takedowns in the middle stanza and that was enough to convince judges Kamijo and Marcos Rosales to give him the stanza. D’Amato, however, saw the round for Brimage. In the final round, Brimage controlled Doane on the feet and mat. Brimage scored two takedowns and outstruck his opponent. D’Amato and Kamijo correctly scored the round, but Rosales handed in one of the most questionable scorecards of the weekend, scoring the round for Doane. Kamijo’s and Rosales’ tallies handed Doane the split decision win, but Rosales was clearly watching a different fight than the rest of the world during the third frame.

The last non-title affair of the UFC 175 main card featured middleweights Uriah Hall and Thiago Santos. The closely contested fight was, in short, a mess to score. The striking was even in the first frame, but Hall scored with a late takedown to claim the round on all three cards. Hall suffered a broken toe in the frame and it changed the pace of the fight thereafter. The middle stanza was very close, as Santos slighted edged Hall in strikes landed, but judges Derek Cleary and Roy Silbert gave Hall the round while Trowbridge gave the edge to Santos. It was more of the same in the third round, as Santos again scored with more strikes, but Hall did attempt a kimura. This time Silbert gave Santos the round, while Cleary and Trowbridge scored it for Hall. Despite the inconsistency as to which fighter won which rounds, all three judges gave the fight to Hall.

In the UFC 175 main event, Chris Weidman edged Lyoto Machida via unanimous decision to retain his middleweight title. Although the verdict was never in question, only one of the three NSAC judges scored the fight properly. Weidman clearly won the first three rounds, while Machida earned the fourth, and Weidman bounced back to claim the final stanza. Both the stats and the media scores reflected the 49-46 Weidman scorecard turned in by Judge Trowbridge. Judge Lee also rewarded Weidman rounds one, two, three and five, but inexplicably scored the third round 10-8 for Weidman. As a strong proponent of using 10-8 rounds—like in the Robertson and Alcantara match-up—normally Lee would earn praise, but in this instance it was unwarranted. Weidman did score three takedowns in the third frame, but he landed just three more significant strikes than the Brazilian and never came close to finishing the fight. Not to be outdone, Judge Rosales continued his ineptitude from the Doane fight, scoring the second round in favor of Machida. The round saw Weidman land three times as many strikes as Machida, as well as score a takedown and spend a minute on top. Fortunately, it was the right outcome, but it marked the third fight out of six that saw questionable scorecards on Saturday night.

Since the UFC was holding back-to-back events from the same venue, many of the judges from UFC 175 had a chance to redeem themselves at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale on Sunday night. But, just like the night before, it was far from smooth sailing.

Kicking off the head scratching was a 143-pound catchweight contest between Sarah Moras and Alexis Dufresne. Dufresne came out the aggressor and put Moras on the mat, but it was Moras who was looking to attack. Despite Dufresne spending over four minutes on top, she landed just 24 strikes and only one that was deemed significant. In contrast, Moras connected with 75 strikes from her back, including 11 significant blows. Despite what should have been an obvious round in favor of Moras, only Judge Kamijo scored the round in her favor. The middle frame saw the pair trade takedowns and Moras outland Dufresne again, earning the round on all three scorecards. In the third round, Dufresne again scored a takedown and spent all but 12 seconds of the round on top of Moras. This time, the strikes landed were closer, as Moras was credited with just four significant blows and Dufresne again connected with just a single meaningful shot. Unlike the first frame, Dufresne appeared to earn the round. Yet, once again, the NSAC judges flipped the script and all scored the round for Moras. While the numbers show that Moras was deserving of the unanimous decision win, she was visibly surprised when the scorecards—especially Kajimo’s 30-27—were revealed.

The Moras-Dufresne scorecards were just the beginning of the inconsistency on Sunday night.

The lightweight contest between Kevin Lee and Jesse Ronson featured a contrast of styles, as Lee used his wrestling to frustrate the Canadian kickboxer. Lee’s forward pressure and takedowns proved to be the difference in the opening rounds. He scored multiple takedowns in rounds one and two. Ronson threatened briefly with a rear-naked choke in round two and even scored a takedown of his own in the final frame. According to judges Silbert and Trowbridge, the submission attempt from Ronson was enough to overcome Lee’s two takedowns and two minutes of control in the middle stanza. Similarly, Ronson’s takedown in round three was enough for Trowbridge to give him the frame, despite Ronson being outstruck by double-digit strikes. After a very rough night on Saturday, it was Judge Rosales that handed in a 30-27 scorecard in favor of Lee, which tipped the decision in his favor.

A flyweight bout between Dustin Ortiz and Justin Scoggins kicked off the main card of the TUF Finale. Scoggins clearly claimed the opening round with a deep armbar attempt and slick takedowns. In round two, Ortiz put his head down and went to work, scoring a takedown of his own and peppering Scoggins with ground-and-pound. It was the third round that resulted in questionable scorecards. Scoggins earned two takedowns, was credited with a submission attempt, and landed more significant strikes in the round, but two of the judges rewarded Ortiz with the round and the fight. Unfortunately, the identities of the judges who scored this contest were not revealed—perhaps to protect the guilty.

With the names of the judges unknown for the Ortiz-Scoggins fight, this installment could be considered incomplete, but, when it was all said and done, nearly every NSAC judge was involved in scoring a fight with some form of controversy this weekend. Of the 10 fights to see the scorecards, four of them were divided. And of the six with unanimous verdicts, there were four scorecards that were questionable. The worst performance of the weekend goes to Marcos Rosales for his rounds scored in favor of Doane and Machida. Sal D’Amato gets the best marks for the weekend for scoring the fight in favor of Marcus Brimage. Doug Crosby and Junichiro Kamijo get honorable mention for each scoring a round for a fighter who was very active off of their back.

Judges’ Grades

Adalaide Byrd – A (Patrick Walsh vs. Daniel Spohn)

Derek Cleary – B- (Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos, Sarah Moras vs. Alexis Dufresne)

Doug Crosby – A (Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos, Bruno Santos vs. Chris Camozzi)

Sal D’Amato – A (Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara, Russell Doane vs. Marcus Brimage)

Junichiro Kamijo – B+ (Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara, Russell Doane vs. Marcus Brimage, Sarah Moras vs. Alexis Dufresne)

Chris Lee – C+ (Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos, Bruno Santos vs. Chris Camozzi, Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, Patrick Walsh vs. Daniel Spohn)

Marcos Rosales – C- (Luke Zachrich vs. Guilherme Vasconcelos, Russell Doane vs. Marcus Brimage, Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, Sarah Moras vs. Alexis Dufresne, Kevin Lee vs. Jesse Ronson)

Roy Silbert – B (Kenny Robertson vs. Ildemar Alcantara, Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos, Patrick Walsh vs. Daniel Spohn, Kevin Lee vs. Jesse Ronson)

Glenn Trowbridge – B (Bruno Santos vs. Chris Camozzi, Uriah Hall vs. Thiago Santos, Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida, Kevin Lee vs. Jesse Ronson)