The judges have done it again. Another disputed call occurred tonight when Zhalghas Zhumagulov lost a split decision to Charles Johnson at UFC Vegas 65. Let's take a look at the fight many are calling robbery:
Zhumagulov landed 46 total strikes whereas Johnson connected on just 32. Neither man notched any control time nor takedowns but the clear activity and volume went to Zhumagulov, who also landed the harder strikes. That earns him a 10-9 in the first.
The total strikes were closer in this round with 65 being landed by Zhumagulov and 57 by Johnson. The disparity lies within the number of significant strikes, which favor Zhumagulov 46 to 33. It is also to note that Zhumagulov scored a takedown during the round and notched a small amount of control time, earning him the round 10-9.
Round 3 was a different story than the first two, with Johnson pulling away on the strike count. He landed 52 total strikes against 30 from Zhumagulov and controlled the octagon for most of the round. Although Zhumagulov landed the most impactful strike of the round, a leg kick that noticeably damaged his opponent, it was the volume of heavy strikes from Johnson that dictated the round, thus earning him a 10-9 in round 3.
Let's compare the UFC judges' scorecards to a collection of credentialed MMA Media members who scored the bout:
As you can see, almost unanimously, Zhumagulov should have been the clear winner.
With clear rounds 1 & 2 going to Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Johnson taking the 3rd, did the judges get this one correct? No, they did not. Zhumagulov should have won a unanimous decision of 29-28 across the board.