MMA judging has been an issue of much contention, since… well, since ever since, as the saying goes.
But it’s received considerable focus in the last week, for both the right and wrong reasons.
First, the right — an able MMA journalist named Marc Raimondi offered a fascinating take on the matter of fight sport judging, earlier this week for MMA Fighting. As our own Jim Genia described here at Caged Insider, perhaps it may not be as great an article as his visit with the late Jeff Blatnick in 2011, but it’s well worth a look. Raimondi not only shadowed California State Athletic Commission judges during Bellator 136, he was able to also take part in their training with John McCarthy.
Second — the wrong.
UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta earned a controversial split decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC Fight Night 63. Fans booed the decision, leading to a profane outburst by the victor in a memorable MMA moment.
Still, there was more to the story.
The official who scored against Iaquinta was Douglas Crosby, a fifteen year veteran of UFC judging.
Iaquinta’s camp has taken issue — and not just with Crosby’s score, but the fact he was allowed to judge the bout at all.
In a report from Steven Marrocco of MMA Junkie, Crosby is alleged by Iaquinta trainer Ray Longo (seen pictured above, to the far left, after his charge Chris Weidman won the UFC middleweight title) to have it out for him and his camp.
Marrocco described Longo as having “objected to the assignment for two reasons: An insult-filled letter he claims he received one year ago from Crosby; and an order of protection obtained against Crosby by a member of the team’s staff.”
“Somebody could come back and say just because he has a court order and wrote a nasty letter doesn’t mean he can’t see the fight impartially,” Longo said. “I don’t know. But this is what I think, and they can tell me if I’m right or wrong.”
Longo also claims that Crosby was removed from a list of potential judges for one of Weidman’s past bouts in Nevada due to these issues.
However, a representative of Virginia’s athletic commission said that no objection was brought up regarding Crosby for the Iaquinta/Masvidal bout.
The identity of the Team Serra/Longo staff member who obtained the order of protection against Crosby was not revealed.