Breakdown of judges’ scorecards for Edgar vs. Munhoz

Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar dropped to bantamweight, and fought Pedro Munhoz in the main event of UFC on ESPN 15 on Saturday night. Befitting a close, close, close fight, “The Answer” won a Split Decision. Judge Sal D’Amato received a degree of criticism for scoring the fight 4-1 for Munhoz, but a look at the scorecards does not support the critics.

Round 1: Derek Cleary (10-9 Munhoz) • Eric Colon (9-10 Edgar) • Sal D’Amato (10-9 Munhoz)
Round 2: Derek Cleary (9-10 Edgar) • Eric Colon (9-10 Edgar) • Sal D’Amato (9-10 Edgar)
Round 3: Derek Cleary (9-10 Edgar) • Eric Colon (10-9 Munhoz) • Sal D’Amato (10-9 Munhoz)
Round 4: Derek Cleary (10-9 Munhoz) • Eric Colon (10-9 Munhoz) • Sal D’Amato (10-9 Munhoz)
Round 5: Derek Cleary (9-10 Edgar) • Eric Colon (9-10 Edgar) • Sal D’Amato (10-9 Munhoz)

Scored Round by Round, Munhoz won:
Round 1: Munhoz (Cleary, D’Amato) Edgar (Colon)
Round 2: Edgar (Cleary, D’Amato, Colon)
Round 3: Munhoz (Colon, D’Amato), Edgar (Cleary)  
Round 4: Munhoz (Cleary, D’Amato, Colon)
Round 5: Edgar (Cleary, Colon), Munhoz (D’Amato)
But that’s not how fights are scored. Instead, the convention in combat sports is to look at each judge’s score for the fight overall, and the majority wins.

Derek Cleary scored it for Edgar (Rounds 2, 3, 5)
Eric Colon scored it for Edgar (Rounds 1, 2, 5)
Sal D’Amato it for Munhoz (Round 1, 3, 4, 5)

There were only two Rounds that all three judges agreed on – Round 2 for Edgar, and Round 4 for Munhoz. In two of the three split rounds (1 and 3) D’Amato scored with the majority. Only in Round 5 was he the odd official out. In Round 1 Colon was the odd official out. In Round 3 Cleary was the odd official out. This is a clear example not of biased or inept judging on the part of Sal D’Amato, who is in fact arguably the best judge in MMA, but instead, it’s an example of a close, close, close fight, in which no judge was far outlying.

It likely came down to how heavily each judge weighed the calf kicks that Munhoz landed. Given how Frankie Edgar walked after the fight, D’Amato was not nuts to weigh them heavily.

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