Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Re: UFC Discussion
Interesting perspective from the DDN on the Hamill/Bisping decision ...
Cincinnati native Hamill is snubbed in London event
By Dann Stupp
Monday, September 10, 2007
Quinton Jackson defeated Dan Henderson to become the sport's undisputed 205-pound champ, and the once-invincible Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic was upset by Frenchman Cheick Kongo.
But the biggest story line coming out of Saturday's UFC 75 event in London, England, is a controversial split-decision win for Michael Bisping over Cincinnati native Matt Hamill.
Consider that Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports (formerly the longtime Las Vegas Journal-Review combat writer), Mike Chiappetta of NBCSports.com, Sam Caplan of CBSSports.com, Damon Martin of MMAWeekly.com, and John Chandler of MMAonTap.com — some of the elite of the MMA media — and yours truly (after re-watching the fight no fewer than five times) all felt that Hamill won the fight and was robbed of the decision.
Saturday's light-heavyweight battle went the full three rounds, and under a 10-point-must system, Bisping won it with scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 27-30.
In other words, two judges (both from the U.S.) thought Bisping won the fight two rounds to one, while the third judge (ironically, from the U.K.) thought the American won all three.
So why has the outrage turned to cries of conspiracy?
Hamill looked to have won the first two rounds decidedly, and only the third appeared as though it could go either way. Hamill controlled the pace, scored takedowns, established ring control and, surprisingly, was the better striker.
Additionally, consider that Bisping, a local product fighting in front of a hometown crowd, was the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 3," the UFC's popular reality series. He's locked into a long-term contract, and like other winners, plenty of money and resources are invested into building up his young career.
Although Hamill is an inspirational story — he was born deaf but went on to a decorated amateur wrestling career — the UFC benefits more with a Bisping victory.
And finally, what the pundits feel is the nail in the coffin: Because England has no athletic commission, the UFC was responsible for regulating the event. UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner was charged with the tasks of drug testing the fighters and choosing officials to judge the fights.
As the former head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Ratner was more than capable of performing the duties, but the conflict of interest isn't going unnoticed.
So was there really a conspiracy? Was Bisping the predetermined winner?
The mockery of a decision was probably a case of poor officiating rather than behind-the-scenes shenanigans.
In a sport still judged primarily by boxing officials, perhaps this latest travesty will encourage UFC and state officials to reconsider the requirements for judging MMA contests.
It won't make things right for Hamill, but it's a start.
Dann Stupp is editor-in-chief of MMAjunkie.com, a content-partner site of Yahoo! Sports. Check out www.mmajunkie.com for a full rundown of UFC 75.
This is what Stupp wrote on his blog at mmajunkie.com on the decision ... he goes into a bit more detail here ...
Since launching this site nearly a year ago, I’ve witnessed more than a few controversial stories surrounding the UFC. But never have I seen so many people defending the same side of an argument as I did yesterday. MMAjunkie.com commenters and emailers were livid that Michael Bisping was awarded a decision victory over Matt Hamill at UFC 75 — and they want to know why we weren’t doing anything about it.
I’m no crusader, though. I just try to cover the news. But the outcry over the controversial decision was so loud that I figured I’d give the fight another look.
When I first watched the fight on Spike TV’s broadcast Saturday night, I had already been tipped off to the outcome (remember: the fight was shown via tape delay, so the results were readily available before the event’s broadcast). If you go back to our UFC 75 live commentary, you’ll see that my initial reaction was that Bisping had won the fight. However, I’ll be the first to admit that my view was probably swayed by knowing the fight’s outcome beforehand, and when “live blogging” a fight, I spend as much time looking at my keyboard as I do the fight.
So yesterday afternoon, I found UFC 75 in my DVR, muted the sound, and watched the fight at least five times. I didn’t want to be influenced by anything, so I sat there studying the fight in perfect silence. And I was finally convinced: Hamill won the fight. In fact, I scored it 30-28 for Hamill, giving him the first and second rounds, and calling the third round a draw (though I could understand someone giving Bisping the final frame).
I decided to devote my column in today’s edition of the Dayton Daily News to this topic, and while preparing, I contacted a few other writers about the fight. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports (also a longtime combat writer for the Las Vegas Journal-Review) perhaps put it best: “I thought Hamill set the pace and was the more effective fighter.“
He’s not the only one. More than 89 percent of voters on a UFC.com poll felt that Hamill won the fight.
So, for those of you who were upset that I didn’t question the fight’s decision, I suggest that you check out today’s column. (But be prepared: I’m not buying into the notion that there’s a conspiracy at play.)
You can read the column at DaytonDailyNews.com.
Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012
Put an end to the Lost Decade.