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Breaking down the Tito / Forrest decision

Maybe it’s all that delicious crack I’ve been smoking, but I actually thought Tito Ortiz won the fight. Well, it’s not like he won the fight in that practical “Who would have won if the fight had kept going” kinda way. Tito had approximately one round worth of gas in his tank than Phil Baroni and barely did more than get off his stool and react to Forrest’s attacks in the third. Still, I gave him the first and second rounds.

From preliminary examination, it seems like I’m one of the few. Sherdog’s play by play judges marched in lockstep and gave Forrest round one and three for the win. Mike Fagan gave the fight to Forrest 30-26, which has me wonder if all the sugar from that maple syrup chug hasn’t damaged his brain or something.

Fortunately, there’s one guy who can be stupid alongside me for thinking Tito won, and that’s Josh Gross from Sports Illustrated. Still, it’s not like I’m about to go on some sort of crusade over the result. But here’s some interesting food for thought you can enjoy regardless of who you thought took this one:

Round 1: To me, this is really the round that could have gone either way. If you have Forrest winning the fight because you gave him round 1 and 3, then we is cool, dog. Round 1 was close enough that it’s not worth arguing. One thing to note, though. Even though FightMetric’s mysterious TPR Formula gave the round to Griffin, a closer look into their striking and grappling numbers for that round show Tito with more strikes and more grappling.

Round 2: MMA Junkie uploaded a scan of the official score card for the fight and it’s like Exhibit A in the case for judging dumb-fuckery. Two of the judges gave round 2 to Forrest Griffin. Let me repeat that: Two of the judges gave round 2 to Forrest Griffin. No matter how much of a dick some dude with a flame beanie was to you back in high school, you still can’t justify giving round two to Forrest. I know a lot of people only care about bad judging when the wrong person wins, but personally it freaks me out when you look at things round by round and find fucked up shit like this. It happens a ton, even when the right guys win.

Round 3: The big debate here was whether round 3 should have been 10-9 Griffin or 10-8 Griffin. The way shit gets judged now, you can’t really expect a 10-8 round unless you’re routing a guy. Yep, Tito wasn’t doing jack. But Forrest wasn’t routing. Still, a world where a Round 3 like Saturday’s actually got 10-8’s would not be a terrible place to live in. An easy way to fix the ten point must system might be to distinguish between close rounds (10-9) and clear rounds (10-8) and massacre rounds (10-7).

Anyways, in the end I’m not really feeling the urge to rabble rabble over this decision. The whole point of these fights isn’t just to determine a winner and loser, but to help place these guys in their respective spots in their weight division. Wherever the fuck you wanna put Forrest and Tito, it seems pretty clear to me that they’re pretty much equal. What else can you say about fighters who have edged out narrow decisions over eachother twice now?

(picture via Sherdog by Dave Mandel)