UFC 251 was a shaky night for the officials, according to UFC President Dana White.
“Listen man, you can’t leave it to these guys. We’ve got some bad judging. We’ve got some bad judging,” White said when asked about the rematch between the featherweight pair, speaking at the post-fight press conference. While it’s rare that a third fight is booked when one fighter has a 2-0 lead in a career series, White was blunt. “Did anybody in here score it for Volkanovski? Anybody have it for Volkanovski? Nobody in the media? I don’t know. We’ll have to figure it out.”
Most observers gave the first two rounds to Holloway, who had a couple of knockdowns over Volkanovski in those rounds. The later rounds, while closer, could have gone to Volkanovski, especially with a couple of (albeit mostly ineffective) takedowns. The third round seemed to be the question mark. While it wasn’t an outright robbery, it seems even White is open to a third meeting at some point.
His other point of contention was more blatant: Jose Aldo was left to cover up, dripping blood and eating a barrage of strikes from Petr Yan in their bantamweight title fight. Left for far too long while the ref looked on.
“Horrible, horrible stoppage by the referee. Should have been stopped way sooner,” exclaimed White. “Looks like we’ve got to tighten up our refs and judges here on Fight Island.”
We’ll know soon enough if the message gets through: the next Fight Island event takes place Wednesday, a rare mid-week show for the promotion.