On a night where officiating in general was once again under the spotlight, no better example of questionable judging in MMA was to be had than the official scorecard from Virna Jandiroba vs. Kanako Murata at UFC Vegas 29.
The women’s strawweight affair featured two former Invicta FC champions going head-to-head Saturday night. And from the outset, the momentum was firmly in Jandiroba’s favor. The Brazilian was hot out of the gate, finding success with her right hand and backing Murata up to the cage. Jandiroba was the bigger fighter, the stronger fighter, and dominated in all aspects of the fight. Japan’s Murata appeared gun shy (and who could blame her), and ate a number of heavy strikes, not to mention a head kick later in the fight.
After an arm-bar submission in the opening round, in which Jandiroba pulled guard, Murata’s left arm was also badly compromised. Enough so that, at the end of the second, the doctor took a closer look — and put an end to the fight.
Not that it mattered in the end, but incredulously, judge Adelaide Byrd awarded the dominant first round for Jandiroba to Murata — giving the Japanese fighter a 10-9 score.
The two remaining judges awarded the round to Jandiroba.
Byrd’s name being attached to a controversial score is nothing new. The longtime boxing judge has been called one of the most controversial in the sport’s history. Her scorecard in the Canelo vs. GGG boxing mega-bout certainly elicited some strong reactions. And on the MMA side of things, well, she hasn’t fared much better.
So, chalk this one up to another case of Byrd being outstandingly bad at her job. At least it didn’t impact the fight, unlike the non-call on multiple fence grabs in Aleksa Camur vs. Nicolae Negumereanu.