Never assume you know how the judges have scored things

melendezthomson

(Round 2, via FightMetric)

The Henderson Melendez fight was a pretty close affair, and it seemed like either fighter could have snapped it up with a little more aggression on their part. Most people agree that it came down to how you scored round 2, but of course that’s not where the deciding judges’ score came from…

All three gave Melendez the first round and Henderson the third, and the other three rounds were a free-for-all. Derek Cleary scored Rounds 3, 4 and 5 for Henderson, Wade Vierra gave 1, 4 and 5 to Melendez, and Michael Bell had the champ taking the middle three rounds. SI.com saw the fight as Bell did, scoring it 48-47 for Henderson.

Via MMA Fighting:

One judge gave round five to Henderson. White, while acknowledging it was a great fight, noted that in the last 20 seconds, he was disappointed that neither man made the effort to put it away, noting had Melendez been aggressive in the closing seconds, perhaps he’d have swayed the dissenting judge and it would have been the difference between being champion and being on the outside looking in.

And here’s Gilbert basically admitting he took it down a gear after rounds one and two:

“It was my chance to kind of take it more, and I didn’t. I just felt like I had the first two rounds, and I felt like I kind of kept it in the bank for the fifth. That was kind of my game plan,” said Melendez. “I knew I lost [rounds] three and four, and I really saved it for the fifth. I think I looked tired in the fourth. I thought I looked a lot more energetic in the fifth, and I thought he looked a lot more tired, but Benson is a stud. He’s very tough to hit.”

If he really did take his foot off the pedal after round two, that decision is likely to haunt him for a while. And hopefully teach him a lesson in why you never give away a round in a big fight.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    I personally thought Gilbert did enough to win, but in a close fight I’m never unhappy to see the decision go to the champ. You should have to decisively beat the champion to take the belt.

  • MAYORofKALI

    No wonder he relaxed… his idiot cornerman Shields kept telling him he was winning rounds. That whole crew just can’t admit when they lose.

  • Higgz

    When are these guys going to learn that your “in fight” assessment of what rounds you are winning aren’t worth crap?! Deciding to coast because you feel like you already won some rounds is retarded! Has Gilbert ever seen a UFC event and the strange decisions these judges render?

  • Letibleu

    The judge that gave it to Melendez (wade vierra) was a cesar gracie bjj student……

    …. he also own an affiliate cg academy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=uSFTy_DVzHw

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Higgz and I are in agreement here. Cesar Gracie’s camp have the absolute worst fight IQ in the game, especially when it comes to judge scoring assessment.

    Deciding to coast for any reason in any fight is bad enough, but a title fight seems even worse. In your first fight in the promotion is compounded foolishness.

    This camp has the most consistently bad game-planning, adaptation, tactics and strategery of any camp in the game. Which sucks for me since I like most of them and want them to win, but they just sabotage themselves on a consistent basis.

  • frickshun

    ^^BWHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!! Gil fought a fantastic fight against the CHAMPION OF THE FUCKING WORLD, barely lost a razor thin decision by trying to pace himself AND IT WAS BAD?? Great fight, I had it 50-43 for Gil but I might be biased against Bendo.

    PS: Gil’s idea of easing up is the equivalent of you sprinting down a mountain chased by a boulder. In a 5 rounder, you not only balance your own pace but have to temper that w/your opponents attack.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Close only counts in horseshoes and airstrikes.

    Gil admitted letting up was dumb in the post-fight presser.

    Their camp has repeatedly made these poor scoring and planning decisions. Was it Nate who told Nick he was winning going into the end of the Condit fight?

    And are you really trying to compare everyone’s assessment of CG’s strategy and in-game coaching to Gil’s accomplishments? Don’t shit on The Niño – even to insult me.

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