Douglas Crosby, the MMA judge at the center of controversy related to the scoring of fights in Bellator and the UFC in recent weeks, has addressed the wave of criticism levied towards him.
Crosby came under fire for scoring a recent Bellator interim title fight as a 50-45 win to a fighter who would lose the bout due to 48-47 scores on the other two judges’ scorecards, and then the very next night — and some 2,500 miles away — he was one of the judges who controversially opted for a Paddy Pimblett win against Jared Gordon in a UFC bout, in spite of a large majority of fans and analysts stating that Gordon was the clear winner of the fight.
“There’s a process in place for any fighter who’s interested in information about how their fight was judged. That information is based upon the officials using the scoring criteria and any fight, not just this past weekend, or any fighter is welcome to contact to the administrators and ask them about that process,” Crosby said.
“As far as me commenting on particular fights right now or maybe ever, that is up to the discretion of the administrators. That’s not me trying to duck out of answering hard questions about judging fights but there is a process and I respect the process.
“Over the last 15 years when you talk the fighters, the overarching comment — and I’m not going to call it a complaint, I’ll call it a comment or a concern — is that effective grappling is not given enough weight in the scoring criteria,” Crosby added. “Recently, I don’t know how recently, but the scoring criteria has been modified and updated so that effective striking and effective grappling are considered equal.
“If effective grappling is considered the equal of effective striking, and then you look at any of my scores through that newly ground mental lens, the scores may become easier to understand. But that has to do with reaching and understanding the criteria and I don’t know who does that and who doesn’t.
“If you want good judges and good judging, they cannot fear the lurking shadow of millionaire pundits when it comes to the decisions they make.
“They can’t fear the lurking shadow of members of the media and I have great respect for genuine members of the MMA media. They think I’m some hostile boogeyman but we’re not supposed to talk to the press and any reporter who comes up to me at a show and wants to just talk about judging philosophy or any of the things that people should take into account, any one [can come talk to me].
“A lot of the people in the MMA media already have a preconceived notion and they’re only going to take out of whatever you tell them confirms that bias. That’s called confirmation bias. That’s an old trick and it works too often.
“Any member of the MMA media can come up and talk to me,” Crosby said. “I have great respect for a lot of those guys, the ones who do the work and have their boots on the ground … can ask me anything at any time.
“The millionaires who second guess everybody and snipe from their mansions, not so much. But this is the world we live in.”