Tuesday, 14 September 2010

On decisions

As far as presidents go, Dana White is easily one of the most quoteworthy figures in modern sports. Anyone who's been a fan of the sport can name a whole host of separate occasions where Dana has summed up what we were all thinking, albeit laced with slightly more profanity.

It was at the point when Dana finished the "Do you want to be a fighter" speech, that I realised I didn't. I did however realise at that point that I needed to find a way to get more involved with the sport in any way that I could.

He always seems to find a time to say "Never leave it in the hands of the judges." This in itself is probably a testament to just how many fights go the distance and how many decisions are controversial.

I've done a few judging gigs in my time and, after all the hullabaloo the other night with the Lee Stevens vs. Harry Izevbigie fight, I took the time to watch the fight with the sound off and my trusty pen and paper.

I respect everyone's opinions on the fight and I haven't written this piece to start any kind of argument. Merely to give my impressions of how I saw the fight in a less pressurised atmosphere.

I remember it being close but, as these things often are, I felt that in the cold light of day I'd be in a better position to make an informed decision.

Lee Stevens vs. Harry Izevbigie

1) 10-9 Harry Izevbigie

Striking wise it was very close but for most of the round it was Izevbigie who engaged a bit more. Lee did a good job of avoiding the punches coming in, if he could have followed up on one or two then he would have taken it. Harry took it due to aggression and very slightly more active striking. He took control of the fight more and was the one looking to make things happen.

2) 10-9 Harry Izevbigie

Lee's striking was a lot better in this round, he looked to engage more and his movement didn't slow down. Harry landed a similar number of strikes and did well to get the takedown and although he didn't do a great deal with it, he transitioned into a submission attempt. It was a very close round once again but Harry pipped it with slightly more activity and due to the takedown and sub attempt.

3) 10-9 Lee Stevens

Stevens did much better here and caught him with the best shot of the bout, he did the right thing as well to come forward and keep throwing when this happened. Overall this was probably the clearest round, even though it was still close. Stevens landed more and, more importantly, he took the centre of the cage and dictated the pace a bit more.

Harry Izevbigie 29-28

In fights where not a lot of things happen it's sometimes the smallest things that make a difference and impress the judges. Harry attempted more takedowns and submissions, albeit only a few but he still attempted them.

Lee's striking looked a lot more compact but his unwillingness to link his punches together made his output seem a little less impressive than it could have been.

When you break it all down, my opinion doesn't count for a whole hill of beans because I wasn't judging that night. That's the centre of what I'm trying to say here, everyone is entitled to have their say but the only opinions that matter on the fight night are that of three people.

It's a harsh sport and the judging has come under heavy scrutiny but in mma, just like any other sport, any time you leave your fight in someone else's hands, you can never be sure of the outcome.

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