The most controversial UFC decision in April was surely the lightweight co-main event of UFC Fight Night in Virginia between Al Iaquinta and Jorge Masvidal. Iaquinta took the split decision with two 29-28s in his favor and a 30-27 for Masvidal. Most media observers and fans thought that Masvidal deserved the nod, and judge Doug Crosby did give Masvidal the 30-27 scorecard.
In the aftermath of the decision, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani mentioned Crosby’s longstanding feud with Ray Longo, which was later followed up by Iaquinta himself alleging a Crosby-Longo beef, as well as an Order of Protection issued against him from one of the Serra-Longo fighters. For as arguably correct as Crosby was for awarding the fight to Masvidal, the allegations of conflict of interest were immediate. Crosby recently defended himself on Chael Sonnen’s podcast, denying Longo’s claims of him sending an insult-laden letter to the Long Island gym. In the same interview, he also accused Longo of having a “bloated ego”.
MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi obtained a document from the Virginia Athletic Commission which shows that Crosby never notified them about potential conflicts of interest with fighters, cornermen, training facilities, etc.
The same report later adds that the village of Garden City’s Police Department investigated and found several instances of Crosby sending letters and cards to Longo’s gym and home, although it should be noted that Longo has never publicly presented any of these letters to the media. Garden City’s police report also stated Crosby was told to cease communications with Longo:
As further evidence of a potential conflict of interest, Longo also said he received an insulting letter from Crosby at his LAW MMA facility in December 2013. Longo said surveillance footage showed that the letter was dropped off by a man Crosby refers to as his nephew. It also was not the first time Crosby had sent a derogatory correspondence, Longo said.
An investigation was undertaken by the Garden City (N.Y.) Police Department at that time and it was found that Crosby had sent “numerous letters and cards” to Longo at his gym and his residence, according to a police report obtained by MMAFighting.com.
The police report states that Crosby was contacted by officer Carlo Fracassa and advised to stop contacting Longo. Crosby said he would not have any further contact and all further calls from police could be directed to his attorney, per the report.
Iaquinta’s claim of a fighter requesting an Order of Protection against Crosby could not be confirmed due to New York State’s policy of sealing family court documents to the public.
Longo says while he wishes no ill will towards Crosby, he would prefer that he stay away from judging fights involving his fighters due to their seemingly unresolved conflicts. As for Crosby, these were his thoughts on Sonnen’s podcast regarding cornermen like Longo who want to control who judges their fights.
“I think it points to a bigger problem, and the bigger problem is, if you put yourself as an athletic commission and you put yourself in a disadvantageous position and you allow any cornerman or whatever to automatically request that a judge be recused because you’ve got a beef with them,” he said. “Ray’s a fine example. If you’re going to recuse everyone that Ray Longo’s got a beef with, Ray’s got more beef than the Chicago stockyard. It would be basically Ray judging the fights by himself because I’ve been places where he’s got a beef with every judge and every cornerman and everyone in the stands and the guy selling popcorn and the valet.”
(You can read Raimondi’s full report, with additional details on the story as well as quotes from John McCarthy, over at MMA Fighting.)
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