Edson Barboza made a blistering beginning to his UFC featherweight stint last night in Jacksonville, despite finding himself on the wrong end of a split decision to Dan ‘Dynamite’ Ige. In the three-round affair, Barboza arguably won two of three rounds, scoring an opening round knockdown, and taking a single strike more than Ige – throwing fewer to boot. Ige managed to successfully shoot on Barboza with a takedown, which seems to have become a deciding factor.
Ige extended his win streak to six fights with the narrow triumph. while Barboza has now dropped five of his last six outings. Barboza was handed a 29-28 scorecard from one judge, while Ige received a duo of 29-28 judgings himself.
Barboza’s manager, Mike Davis has revealed he will appeal the decision defeat to the Florida State Athletic Commission. The 34-year-old featured against Paul ‘The Irish Dragon’ Felder at UFC 242 last September in a highly-entertaining rematch, however, team Barboza was forced to appeal that decision also, with Felder taking a rather contentious split decision.
In a statement given to MMA Fighting, Davis explained how he planned on appealing the incredible close decision, but also explained how the problem regarding judging in mixed-martial-arts is much deeper rooted than just last night’s event.
“We’re going to appeal on the call,” Davis revealed. “We’re from Florida; I have a very good relationship with Patrick Cunningham (the chief of Florida State Boxing Commission), who’s a very constructive guy. We’ll definitely appeal on a question of principle. It has to be done. But the problem is much bigger than that. This is something that just keeps on happening in the sport. The day after tomorrow, everybody’s forgot about it, except for the person that was on the wrong side of these decisions.“
“We’ve got to do something about this. It just keeps on happening. In my mind, (Edson) Barboza won the first and second rounds clearly. I don’t understand how the judges picked (Dan) Ige. And what we need to understand is, how are they coming up with the decisions? We just don’t know. Unfortunately, Edson is going to be 1-4 in his last five fights, and two were decisions. What does that do to his career and his paycheck? The problem is something the whole MMA community has to face. We have to come up with a better system so fighters and their careers don’t get hurt.“
Ige vs. Barboza was just one of four decision judgings where arguments could be made for the other side to emerge victoriously. In the co-headliner, Cláudia Gadelha edged out Angela Hill with a 29-28 (x2) split decision. In another bizarre judging, Marlon Vera saw his five-fight winning run snapped by Song Yadong, with the Team Alpha MMA trainee taking a 29-28 unanimous decision. In a hugely entertaining preliminary bout at featherweight, Darren Elkins was edged out by Nate Landwehr via a 30-27 (x2), and a 29-28 scoreline.