Commissioner errs in tallying of scorecards
Demetrious Johnson heard the boos after the scores were read, giving him a majority decision win over Ian McCall on Friday, but he was excited to move into the first UFC flyweight title fight. Now he’ll have to do it all over again.
An error by the athletic commissioner in Sydney, Australia, at UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann made the Johnson-McCall fight a draw, not a majority decision win for Johnson. UFC president Dana White announce the error at the post-fight news conference on Friday night.
The announced scores were a pair of 29-28s for Johnson and a 29-28 for McCall, giving Johnson the win in the UFC’s first 125-pound bout, moving him into the title fight against Joseph Benavidez, who would win the next fight against Yasuhiro Urushitani. But the score on judge Sal D’Amato’s scorecard was tallied incorrectly – he scored a 10-8 third round for McCall, making his card 28-28 for a draw.
“It was a bit of an unfortunate situation,” commissioner Craig Waller said after the fight. “I take full responsibility. I misread the scorecards. The fight should’ve been a majority draw. I sincerely apologize to both fighters, to Dana, to every single fan of the UFC. All I can do is apologize and I’m very, very sorry. Sal didn’t make the error – it was my error.”
White clearly was disappointed in what had transpired.
“Human error happens,” White said. “The commission has taken responsibility. (The first-ever 125-pound title, and it’s clogged up again. Controversy seems to be stuck to us like glue these days, (but) I’m definitely not going to lose any hair over it. I said, ‘You’ve gotta be f***ing sh***ing me’ (when I found out). That is my exact quote.”
Prior to the four-man tournament introducing the flyweight division, the UFC said that because of the need for two fighters to advance to a title bout, a fourth-round sudden victory format would be used in the case of a draw. So Johnson-McCall should’ve gone to a fourth round.
The error now forces Johnson and McCall into a rematch – and forces Benavidez, who scored a second-round TKO to sit on the sidelines waiting for the eventual winner of Johnson-McCall.
“I thought I had the victory,” Johnson said. “It sucks because it will prolong stuff. Joseph will probably have to sit out six months. These fights aren’t easy. I was ready to go a fourth round and do my job. It is what it is. It happens.”
McCall, who along with most of the fans in Sydney seemed to think he won the fight, said he felt a little vindicated.
“Things happen. Shoot, we get to fight again. You guys had a good time, right? We’ll put on another show,” McCall said. “I’m happy because I was vindicated. Cool man, whenever I get to fight again. I like him. We had fun beating each other up. We can do this again, make more money – I’m all in.”
Benavidez said he’ll be excited to see who finally comes out on top.
“Initially, I thought it was a draw,” Benavidez said. “I’m excited to see that fight again. It was awesome. It was a great fight, and it was awesome they get to do it again. I think it was a draw. It was a great, close fight. I’m just excited to fight whoever comes out on top of that one. I just want to fight whoever wins because they’re the deserving contender.”