They rob fighters’ glory, money – Israel Adesanya wants two judges fired after UFC main event

UFC champion Israel Adesanya was not happy with the judging in his teammate’s fight at UFC Vegas 74 this past Saturday.

By: Kristen King | 4 months ago
They rob fighters’ glory, money – Israel Adesanya wants two judges fired after UFC main event
Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 this past November | IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

Current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was upset with the judging of Amir Albazi vs. Kai Kara-France at UFC Vegas 74 this past Saturday. As he usually does, the ‘Last Stylebender’ watched the most recent UFC event, which featured his friend and City Kickboxing teammate Kara-France. After five rounds, the general consensus was that ‘Don’t Blink’ should have had his hand raised against Albazi. 

Israel Adesanya rips judging at UFC Vegas 74

However, when the judges’ scorecards were read, it was the ‘Prince’ who was declared the winner via split decision — a decision that saw Adesanya erupt in a series of tweets regarding judging. According to the 33-year-old, he suspected some ridiculous scoring when he saw these two names: Chris Lee and Sal D’Amato. 

“Fire Chris Lee and Sal Deez Nuts [D’Amato],” tweeted Adesanya. 

After the judges’ scorecards were released, Adesanya had his suspicions confirmed. 

“I tweeted that before even seeing the scorecards because I knew them two will f—k it up!,” tweeted Adesanya. “How many times will they rob athletes of their moments of glory, [of] their money, their livelihood for their family. F—k them c—ts.”

UFC featherweight champion and fellow City Kickboxing teammate Alexander Volkanovski also chimed in, tweeting, ‘giving Amir [Round 4] is just insane.’ Judge Chris Lee gave Albazi that round, which was widely considered a Kara-France round. 

The final tweet from Adesanya was a call to action. If it was up to the New Zealander, he would have judges on the same stage as fighters after a fight. 

“Start interviewing the judges after fights,” tweeted Adesanya. “Hold them accountable for their work.”

Israel Adesanya‘s past history with judge Chris Lee

Israel Adesanya has had experience with Chris Lee, the veteran judge who was assigned to some of his fights, including his first against Marvin Vettori at UFC Glendale. The ‘Last Stylebender’ won a split decision after Lee turned in a 29-28 scorecard in favor of the ‘Italian Dream’. When Adesanya and Vettori fought again at UFC 263, the former ensured Lee would have no say in the rematch, especially since he was the reigning champion at the time.  

“Shoutout to my man Tim [Simpson] and Eugene [Bareman],” said Adesanya in an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole. “Eugene already made a complaint a while back to [UFC matchmaker] Mick [Maynard], saying ‘we never want him to judge again’. And apparently, he was scheduled to judge this fight again, and shoutout to my man Tim for Paradigm. He said, ‘No f—king way.’

“And yeah, we got him out of there,” continued Adesanya. “No disrespect to him, but full disrespect to him if he actually thought Marvin won the last fight.”

Judges Derek Cleary, Sal D’Amato and Chris Flores scored the rematch in favor of Adesanya, who retained the UFC middleweight championship with 50-45 scores. 

Up next for Israel Adesanya?

Now sitting atop the UFC middleweight division again after his second-round KO of Alex Pereira at UFC 287 this past April, Israel Adesanya expects his next defense to come against the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus Du Plessis. UFC president Dana White confirmed that was a No. 1 contender fight, so the ‘Reaper’ or ‘Stillknocks’ is up next for Adesanya. 

As far as a preference in opponent, Adesanya recently said he would be ready for either fighter. 

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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