Last night, squeezed into a very good night of fights was another horrible scorecard turned in by a judge who is making this a habit. In the second bout of the main card Jake Ellenberger (24-5) took on Carlos Eduardo Rocha (9-1) in a welterweight clash.
The bout was highly entertaining with the classic striker vs. grappler match up playing out to perfection.
The opening round saw the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Rocha get Ellenberger (BJJ blue belt) in several dangerous positions on the ground, easily winning the round. Ellenberger seem to make the correct adjustments between the rounds and was able to keep the fight standing for the majority of the next two rounds. Holding the superior striking over Rocha, Ellenberger seemed to control the fight with his jabs and timely combinations. Rocha also appeared to be getting tired after expending so much energy in the first round.
As the fight ended it looked as in Ellenberger had shaken off the first round and won the fight two rounds to one. The official scoring was in and one judge had it 30-27 in favor of Rocha while the other two judges saw it 29-28 for Ellenberger. The split decision was in favor of Ellenberger but how did one judge see Rocha winning all three rounds?
In steps in the winner of the “Cecil Peoples Fight of the Night” award for UFC 126, Adelaide Byrd. If the name sounds familiar it’s because Byrd is now a multiple time winner of the award, which has only been given out twice thus far. If you recall Byrd, along with Tony Weeks at UFC 126 saw Leonard Garcia winner the fight over the clear winner, Nam Phan.
Lucky for Ellenberger the other two judges got the scoring right and he still was awarded the victory, but it’s just another example of current problem with MMA judges. If Byrd continues to find her name on this dubious award, we might just have to rename the award the “Adelaide Byrd Fight of the Night”.