I think everyone has gotten used to that magical feeling of uncertainty right before a fight is called where we all hold our breath and see if the judges fucked up royally. But this is something else completely: at an event down in Costa Rica, Hermes Franca clearly won his fight against Ferrid Kheder. The crowd knew he won. The people watching the live stream on Sherdog knew. And I guess the promoters knew, because instead of having the announcer read the actual judges decision, they had the announcer award the fight to Kheder instead.
Here’s a letter from a fan at the event sent to Hermes Franca, which Hermes shared on the Underground forums:
I witnessed the corner man (an American) for Franca pleading to the announcer to check the scorecards again. The French announcer, who only moments before I personally heard speak perfect Queen’s English, now acted as though he understood nothing this poor corner man was saying; I found this utterly despicable and decided to get involved. The promoter had rushed from the arena immediately after the fans started to voice their displeasure with this travesty of sportsmanship and fair play so she was unavailable to comment.
I introduced myself to the corner man and he tells me his name is Dave Jensen. The announcer refuses to acknowledge that he has the score cards when I tell him he’s obligated to show them to Franc’s team. Being familiar with how this process works and not having the emotional involvement of the Dave the corner man I suggest we talk directly to the judges.
The two of us approach the three judges and we ask them who they awarded the fight to, all three say Franca. We then ask the referee and he tells us he too had Franca as the winner, he tells us he refused to raise Kheder’s hand because Franca won and in fairness he wouldn’t raise Kheder’s hand (I commend him for that). I even hear Kheder saying to the French announcer (in English no less) to call the fight a “no contest”!
As for why the fight was rigged in Ferrid Kheder’s favor, it may have something to do with the fact that the promoter Lu Dwyer also happens to run Team FK (guess what the FK stands for) and “First Fight”, a marketing and management firm that represents Ferrid Kheder. As if that wasn’t enough to tell who was calling the shots, Kheder updated his facebook page with this:
“Following the controversy surrounding my fight with Hermes Franca at XVT 5, Lu Dwyer, who organises the show, has decided to turn the decision to a no-contest and offer a rematch to Hermes Franca as soon as possible, for a 5 round fight.”
She’s the decider, and she decides what is best.
The full fight is after the jump.