Light Heavyweight Championship bout: Forrest Griffin defeated Quinton Jackson via unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 49-46) to become the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
The UFC awarded $60,000 each to Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin for Fight of the Night.
1 10-9 Jackson
2 10-8 Griffin
3 10-9 Jackson
4 10-9 Jackson
A lot of controversy came out of Forest Griffin’s win over Quinton Jackson. I scored it a draw, as did many MMA analysts as well as FightMetric. What most “experts” seemed to be focused on is that while the decision might be questionable, it’s far from the biggest robbery ever and therefore not worthy of all the controversy. While that might be true, I think the magnitude of the injustice, if any, is offset by the fact that this was a title fight in the most prestigious division in the premier promotion.
One topic to come out of this fight is what it takes to constitute a 10-8 round. I scored the first round 10-9 for Jackson and the second round 10-8 for Griffin. I did not think the knockdown in the first round was enough to make it 10-8 for Jackson, because Griffin did enough to present a threat throughout the round, not to mention that he was able to recover from the knockdown. In the second round Jackson presented absolutely no threat to Griffin, while Griffin did enough to dominate the Jackson. “Dominate” is the key word when making the distinction between 10-8 and 10-9. I think Fightmetric has the right idea. They define a 10-8 round as when one fighter scores six times as much as their opponent and at least 100 points. The spirit of that is a combination of absolute and relative damage. That means the fighter must damage their opponent, but not necessarily come close to knocking them out. In addition a contentious round that contains a near knockout does not constitute a 10-8 round.
Another topic to come out of this is the validity of the phrase “to be the champ, you have to beat the champ.” While the phrase may be taken out of context, I do think that it is absolutely true. But that only goes so far. It does not mean that if a round is a draw it should go to the champ. It does however mean that if the entire fight is a draw, then the champion maintains their belt.
As for the idea that a contentious fight “should” be a split decision, that is a ridiculous notion that displays a lack of understanding. Ideally judges have a firm understanding of their jobs and their “should” be no split decisions.