Davis vs. Machida: Fight Metrics at odds with official score

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Phil Davis received a unanimous decision win over Lyoto Machida Saturday night at UFC 163.

The fans thought Machida easily did enough to win. The sentiment was expressed by UFC president Dana White, who is among other things a huge fan.

“I had Machida winning all 3 rds,” tweeted White, adding, “but that’s what happens when u leave it up to the judges!”

A side by side comparison of the official judge’s score card and the often eerily correct Fight Metrics shows that not only were the judges all over the place, but that the statistical report shows the fight for Machida, unanimously, and for every round.

Sal D’Amato
Round 1: 10-9 Davis
Round 2: 10-9 Davis
Round 3: 9-10 Machida

Chris Watts:
Round 1: -10 Machida
Round 2: 10-9 Davis
Round 3: 10-9 Davis

Rick WInter
Round 1: 10-9 Davis
Round 2: 10-9 Davis
Round 3: 9-10 Machida

Fight Metrics does not agree. In fact, Machida dominated the scoring against Davis, by Fight Metrics calculations.

While fans disagreeing with a decision is commonplace, it is unusual for there to be so much disagreement between Fight Metric and the officials. As the partisan crowd was on Machida’s side, the disparity can’t be attributed to judges being swayed by the crowd.

So what do you think UG? Who won the fight? And why are the judge’s scores so at odds with the fans and the stats? Was it two takedowns late in the round? How much should takedowns score?

In the end, Daniel Cormier may have gotten closest to the truth.

“Guys was a close fight,” tweeted Cormier. “No one landed many strikes. Turn the volume down and watch the fight and it won’t be as obvious.”