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 look at UFC Fight Night 45.

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 this event was no different.

The first fight of the night was not only the first strawweight bout in UFC history, it was also the first decision of the evening. The fight was essentially a showcase for consensus No. 3-ranked fighter Claudia Gadelha. The Brazilian lived up to her hype, cruising past Finland’s Tina Lahdemaki. The outcome of the contest was never in question, but there was one judge, Jose Tabora, who gave Gadelha a 10-8 score in the second round. If Tabora had done so for Gadelha’s first-round dominance, there wouldn’t have been much argument. A glance at the stats shows why. The Brazilian threw 101 strikes in the opening round, landing 78. In contrast, Lahdemaki landed just 31. Add in Gadelha’s takedown, guard passes, taking the Finn’s back and attempting multiple neck cranks in the final two minutes of the round, and a 10-8 score from a judge in round one could be justified. But round two? Gadelha scored one takedown and outlanded Lahdemaki by just a 37-30 tally. A 10-8 second-round score is embarrassing. At least the scorecards of judges Michael DePasquale Jr. and Vincent Sinclair were echoed by the majority of those watching.

Lightweights Gleison Tibau and Pat Healy went to war in the night’s final prelim, with the Brazilian Tibau taking home a unanimous decision. There was no doubt about the first frame, as Tibau used his size and strength to manhandle Healy. In the middle round, Tibau controlled the action early, but Healy turned the tides late in the frame. Tibau’s early takedown likely swayed the three judges, despite Healy outlanding the Brazilian. Round three was clearly Healy’s round. He more than doubled Tibau’s output with his hands, and Tibau’s two takedowns actually resulted in Healy having two minutes of control. Yet, despite what was a clear-cut round for Healy, judge Tony Tamburrino scored it for Tibau. Thankfully, judges Eric Colon and Cardo Urso scored the round correctly for Healy.

All in all, it was a decent night in New Jersey. Nine finishes in 11 fights left few fights in the hands of the judges, and even though judges Tabora and Tamburrino turned in some unexplainable scorecards, no fighters walked out of the cage with a questionable loss.

Judges’ Grades

Eric Colon – A (Gleison Tibau vs. Pat Healy)

Michael DePasquale Jr. – A (Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki)

Vincent Sinclair – A (Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki)

Jose Tabora – D (Claudia Gadelha vs. Tina Lahdemaki)

Tony Tamburrino – D (Gleison Tibau vs. Pat Healy)

Cardo Urso – A (Gleison Tibau vs. Pat Healy)