UFC 104 judge Peoples: Good fans understand why Machida won

Clark Kent

<B>News Bot</B>
Sep 11, 2006
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10-26-2009 01:25 PM:

After being blistered on the internet for 36 hours, Cecil Peoples, one of the judges from the disputed Lyoto Machida-Mauricio Rua is firing back. Fans have been crushing him and the UFC over the Machida 48-47 decision. Many fighters outside the cage believed that Rua won the fight. One media member said the UFC [expletive] up and Dana White needs to stop blogging and fix the sport. Peoples told CageReport.net that there is a lack of understanding on how to score a fight:

"First of all what you need to understand is that from where the judges are sitting, we get to see things that the fans at home may miss. Mauricio Rua was being aggressive but it wasn't effective aggressiveness which is what we as the judges look for when scoring a fight. The way I saw it, Lyoto was landing the more cleaner and damaging strikes throughout the fight - if you take a look at the judging criteria clean strikes are valued more-so than the quantity of strikes landed. Although Rua threw a lot of low kicks they were not as damaging as Lyotos diverse attack in the earlier rounds which is why I scored the first three rounds for Machida."

I have zero issue with that explanation. Judges in boxing differ on their philosophy as well. It's the old volume versus precision argument. That said, I disagree that Machida landed the cleaner strikes in the first round but Peoples is entitled to his own opinion.

"You have to keep in mind we always the favor the fighter who is trying to finish the fight, and leg kicks certainly don't do that."

See now there might be a problem with that statement. It sounds like Peoples believes that head strikes are the only to finish the fight. So does that means all leg and body strikes can't lead to a finish?

"When both fighters are engaged in a striking match what I always look for is the fighter who is being judicious, picking his spots, being accurate and landing the cleaner strikes which ultimately is what Lyoto did more effectively than Rua. Lyoto made Shogun come after him, he determined where the fight took place which in my opinion constitutes as effective Octagon control."

This could be another issue. Do counterstrikers generally get the nod in Peoples' opinion.

"I recognize the fact that Rua did have a few takedown attempts during the course of the fight however Lyoto defended them all successfully which counts as effective grappling in his favor, where as unsuccessful takedown attempts are not scored at all. Therefore going by that criteria, I believe Lyoto won the fight clearly. I'm just glad the other judges on the panel saw it the same way and I'm sure the fans who understand the technicalities of the sport agree with the decision too."

That's a nice shot at the end, "fans who UNDERSTAND the technicalities." He can take a shot at the fans but the media support for Rua was pretty overwhelming:

Cagewriter: 48-47 Rua
Kevin Iole, Yahoo!: 48-47 Rua
Dave Doyle, Yahoo!: 48-47 Rua
Dave Meltzer, Yahoo!: 49-46 Rua
BloodyElbow: 48-47 Rua
USAToday: 48-47 Rua
ESPN: 49-46 Rua
CagePotato: 49-46 Rua
MMAJunkie : 49-46 or 48-47 Rua
MMAMania : 50-45 Rua
ProMMA.Info: 50-45 Rua
Adam Hill, Las Vegas Review-Journal: 48-47 Machida

Yahoo! Sports.
Cagewriter is an MMA blog edited by Steve Cofield.