Edson Barboza and Paul Felder fought at the co-main event of UFC 242. It’s needless to say that the rematch between those two exceeded all the expectations and hype. After three rounds of grueling battle, it all came down to the judges’ scorecards. Paul Felder won the fight via split decision.
The fans in the arena disagreed with the decision, so did Barboza and his camp. Barboza’s team is filing a case to UFC to revise the decision for the match. Some even are calling it a robbery. However. is it though?
Let’s revisit what happened in that fight to conclude the winner.
In the first round, both the fighters landed some pretty heavy shots on their opponents. Barboza landed more strikes than Felder did, but the margin was not too big.
However, Felder was the one who kept pushing forward through the entire round. He even got Barboza in a clinch for a few seconds. If one fighter is pushing forward, putting pressure on the opponent and landing strikes then that fighter seems dominating when compared to the other fighter who is moving backward.
The ring control did not play a crucial factor in the first round as only one judge gave the round to Felder. So Barboza won the first round.
In the second round, Barboza landed a huge takedown. However, he could not get any significant offense going on the ground. Felder, on the other hand, hit Barboza with a few significant strikes from the back before and almost got Barboza in a submission. So it’s hard to say that Barboza wins the second round because of one takedown.
After the takedown, both fighters again traded strikes on the feet and Felder again moved forward and control the ring. Felder got Barboza in the clinch again in the final moments of the fight and these elements have to count on the judges’ scorecards.
Two judges gave the round to Felder and it is hard to argue against that decision.
Except for the third round, the other rounds were very close and could have gone either way. Though Barboza landed a takedown in the final moment of the third round, Felder landed way too many strikes on Barboza in that round. Felder even in the third round kept moving forward. So it’s undeniable that Felder wins the third round.
All the judges gave the third round to Felder as he wins the fight via split decision. Nothing seems wrong with that decision. However, the troubling part of the decision is, the scores given by Howie Booth and Maria Makhmutova, two of the judges in UFC 242.
While Howie Booth gave the fight to Barboza with a score of 30-27, Maria Makhmutova gave the fight in favor of Felder with a score of 30-27. How can one judge see a completely different fight from the other? Now a 28-29 score in favor of Felder given by David Lethaby makes much more sense than the scorecards of the other two judges.
Agreed it was a close fight and the fight could have gone in any fighters’ favor. However, to say that Edson Barboza was robbed against Paul Felder just diminishes the fight Felder put on that night.
Irrespective of the result, Edson Barboza and Paul Felder gave fans an exciting fight, which may have opened the path for a trilogy fight between these two.