There was a lot of controversy surrounding Diego Sanchez’s split decision victory over Ross Pearson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 42 last night, with many observers feeling that ‘The Real Deal’ had comfortably outboxed his opponent over the course of three rounds.
UFC color commentator Kenny Florian set the tone for the post-fight reaction when he voiced his disbelief at the judges decision live on-air.
“I am still in shock and in disbelief on that decision,” Florian stated. “I thought Ross Pearson had an easy decision win. Diego Sanchez, I love you, but Ross Pearson won that fight. And a 30-27 for Diego Sanchez, those judges should be ashamed.”
Needless to say Pearson agreed with him wholeheartedly.
“I felt good in the fight. I came out confident, relaxed. I think I outclassed Diego,” Pearson stated at the post-fight press conference. “I picked my shots well. I think I won every round. I came in here. Who finishes Diego Sanchez? The guy’s a warrior.
“I tried. He put on a tough fight, but I think I won every round,” Pearson said. “It just sucks. I’m hurting right now. I believe I’ve lost half a paycheck. The judges here, they don’t lose half a paycheck. I feel that I’ve been robbed.”
Pearson’s fellow professionals were also shocked and stunned by the outcome and took to Twitter to let the world know.
“That is criminal,” TJ Grant wrote. “Literally, the worst decision I’ve ever seen. Clear 30-27 Mma judging is a joke. @RossTheRealDeal, u were robbed.”
“Wait…… What! Diego won?” Daniel Cormier asked in disbelief.
“Omg how did 2 judges score that fight 30-27 Sanchez? That’s insane and one of the worst robberies. Poor Pearson,” former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman stated.
“I told everyone that this was going to happen,” former TUF champ Michael Chiesa claimed, “But wow….. I’m still blown away. Ross won all 3 rounds. Period.”
That was just a sampling of the pro-reactions to the verdict, but of course, Sanchez saw it differently.
“I definitely thought I won the first and third round,” Sanchez said post-fight. “I thought it was unanimous, but I haven’t got to see the fight yet. I can’t really assess it, but definitely thought I won the fight. I thought 30-27 was ridiculous, but, you know, I got my hand raised.”
It should be noted that there was almost a unanimous consensus amongst the MMA media that Pearson had won, while the Fight Metric statistics confirmed that the British fighter had indeed got the better of Sanchez with more strikes per round, more significant strikes per round, while also earning the only knockdown of the fight and the only takedown.
With all that said and done perhaps the fairest thing to do would be to have an immediate rematch, and this time make it anywhere but Sanchez’s hometown!
Post-fight Sanchez was calling for a fight with Nate Diaz, but he didn’t rule out the possibility of locking horns with Pearson again.
“He was a fun fight,” Sanchez said of Pearson. “I’d fight him any day of the week.”
Pearson was more than happy to oblige if the UFC can arrange a second encounter between them.
“It was an honor fighting Diego. I’ve got nothing against Diego,” Pearson told the assembled media. “I like the guy. He put on a great fight. Let’s do it again, if that’s what the fans want. We’ll do it again.”