Poor Cecil Peoples. He was doing such a good job of staying off the radar this year that we were getting ready to retire our “You suck as hard as Cecil Peoples” insults – they were just getting too obscure. Does no one remember his last big fuckup? But now he’s back, not just with his shitty judging of the Machida-Shogun fight, but this attempt to justify it to the MMA community:
“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. You have to keep in mind we always the favour the fighter who is trying to finish the fight, and leg kicks certainly don’t do that.”
“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. 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 favour, where as ununsuccessful 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.”
And behold, this is the method behind the madness of commission judging. Yes, Shogun was doing more. But if you take away his forward movement, the leg kicks, his ‘less effective’ strikes and the takedown attempts, then he wasn’t. In fact, since Shogun’s forward movement was actually caused by Machida backing up, you totally gotta give Machida the nod for octagon control too.
The scary thing about all this is how it almost makes sense when you read the standard MMA judging criteria. In this case, Peoples has used the cloudy ‘clean strikes’ criteria to award effective striking to Machida despite the fact that Shogun landed nearly TWICE AS MANY strikes. Even if you throw out the leg kicks for some insane reason, Shogun still kneed the fuck out of Machida and had an equal number of punches which really weren’t as shitty as Cecil would have you believe. Definitely Pepsi to Coke quality, not like Shogun was throwing some store brand shit in comparison.
Peoples also gives ‘effective aggressiveness’ to Lyoto based on Shogun’s stuffed takedown attempts, ignoring the rest of the fight where Shogun was ‘moving forward and finding success’ – the rulebook definition of effective aggressiveness. Ah, but that was all Machida making Shogun come to him. Brilliant! Score that shit for Machida too!
So yeah, I suppose this was a fun exercise in seeing how a judge can cherrypick scoring criteria to give the fight to the wrong fighter. I’m sure we’ll do it again soon. And then again a bit later. And again. And again and again and again. And again. Until the sport is ruined or we blow our fucking brains out.