Perhaps feeling a little bit stung and hurt by criticisms from Dana White that ‘the guys judging UFC 131 should never be allowed to score another fight’, the Vancouver Athletic Commission sent out an email explaining the rationale behind the Omigawa / Darren Elkins fight:
In the first round, Elkins backed Omigawa up with punches the entire round. He controlled the center of the cage. He was throwing a lot more shots, and landing more — and in combination. If there is any controversy as to the outcome of the fight it must be because of the second round. That was a very challenging round to score. An argument can be made in favour of either fighter. Elkins landed more punches. At one point, when Omigawa came forward, he was stopped dead in his tracks by Elkins’ combination punches, and at another point he was slightly buckled. Due to Omigawa’s unusual stance and balance, it was difficult to tell exactly whether he was rocked by some of these shots. However, you could see Omigawa’s leg bend, and the control shift to Elkins as he landed the combo, stopping Omigawa in his tracks, taking the center of the cage, and going on the attack again. These sequences, as well as the total effective strikes landed, could reasonably warrant awarding the round to Elkins. Elkins didn’t land many more than Omigawa, but he did land more. (The Fightmetric numbers agree.) As to the blood – it represents something, but a cut can be caused by a glancing blow and some fighters just cut more readily than others.
That’s a round about which reasonable people can disagree. Close rounds like Round 2 of Omigawa vs Elkins serve as useful examples for discussion, to assist in refining and evolving the community’s understanding of the scoring criteria, generally. And that is a good thing for the sport.
Vancouver Athletic Commission
Interesting how there’s no mention of the judge who gave the fight to Elkins 30-27. I guess bringing that up wouldn’t jive with the general attempt to make this all about round 2 being so close. Tweedale says Fightmetric backs him up on Elkins landing more shots, but I think the more interesting statistic from Fightmetric is the number of punches Elkins attempted – 122 in round two, only 37 of which landed. Our theory on what happened is pretty straight forward and simple: Elkins was flailing around way more than Omigawa, and that tends to influence idiot judges – the HypnoGarcia effect.
(top picture via Esther Lin’s UFC 131 Gallery. Gif via some anonymous hero)