It appeared to seemingly anyone with a functioning set of eyes that Jamie Varner had beaten Melvin Guillard when the three rounds of their UFC 155 bout ended. But somehow Adelaide Byrd saw the fight as a clean sweep for Guillard.
It was something that set Dana White off during the post fight press conference (via MMA Fighting):
“It kills my business,” White said. “Manny Pacquiao lost a fucking decision in that fight, and what happens is, the first thing you think is, and I hate Bob Arum, I can’t stand that f—ing guy. He didn’t fix that fight. He had nothing to do with it. I’d love to sit here and b—- and say ‘Bob Arum rigged it and he did this’. He didn’t.
“It’s decisions like this and the 30-27 Guillard tonight that just, it does kill you. People think that it’s us. A lot of people aren’t educated on the fact that the Nevada state athletic commission actually picks these people and allows them to keep judging fights.”
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “30-27 for Guillard? Crazy, right? You could never watch a fight in your f—in’ life and not score that 30-27. That was scary, I mean, Cain Velasquez had to sweat it at the end when they called that decision. You never know with those guys. It happens. These guys are crazy.”
Byrd is a notoriously bad judge in the MMA and boxing world, yet found herself a sort of hero earlier in the year when she was the lone judge to score Brandon Rios vs. Richard Abril for Abril — the fighter who obviously won the fight.
But she’s horrible at her job, this isn’t news to anyone. The bigger issue is that no one seems to care less about judges who can’t do their job than the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
In situations like the Rios/Abril fight, I reached out to Keith Kizer who told me he “didn’t see anything wrong with the judging” and fell back on the old line that fights “look different live sometimes.” It’s a copout and it’s the same nonsense that the NSAC spews whenever these horrible scores are thrust onto the pubic. It turns “never leave it in the hands of the judges” from a completely stupid phrase to one that simply needs the extension “because there is no reason for them to be good at their jobs anyway.”
Patricia Morse Jarman managed to turn in one of the worst scorecards of 2010 when she gave Beibut Shumenov a 117-111 win over Gabriel Campillo in January. She also has a history of awful scorecards. Campillo’s camp demanded an investigation and went as far as to say she was “either blind or got paid off.”
So what was Jarman’s punishment? Oh, only working fights like Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard later that year, Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber, Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II, working on the Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV undercard and one of the judges for Cotto vs. Mayweather.
We can be upset, we — Dana included — can kick and scream and demand investigations or for judges to be held accountable. But the truth is simply that the current NSAC brass has never shown any sign of actually caring about horrible judges. Not like New Jersey, who Judges like Byrd or Jarman will get work constantly for as long as they want once they get a foot in the door. And then when something happens like Byrd scoring Abril/Rios correctly, it is used as proof that they’re actually good at the job.
And somehow it isn’t seen as a red flag that we have to take note of when judges do their job well instead of it simply being the expectation.
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