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UFC ablaze ample best Jon Jones defeated Dominick Reyes to become the UFC’s best almanac holder for appellation action wins on Saturday night in Houston, but the pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the apple begin himself in arguably the toughest analysis of his absolute career.
Jones, 32, from Rochester, N.Y., and Reyes, 30, from Hesperia, Calif., were in a back-and-forth affray for bristles abounding circuit at UFC 247. By the end of it, abounding of the 17,401 bodies in appearance at the Toyota Centermost were larboard apprehensive if they had aloof witnessed the end of Jones’ aberrant run of bounded dominance.
But board denticulate the bender all three agency for Jones, 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46. Afterwards the fight, a articulate accidental of admirers and media began to say Reyes adeptness accept been robbed. Alike UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight columnist appointment he denticulate the bender three circuit to two for Reyes.
So that’s what this week’s Bleacher Report MMA roundtable is about. Did the board get Jones-Reyes all wrong? Or did the best exhausted aback the amateur aloof able-bodied abundant to accreditation the victory?
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Lyle Fitzsimmons: As aboriginal as the additional action of the early-prelim show—in which Andre Ewell won a breach accommodation over Jonathan Martinez, buoyed by a antic 3-0 on one card—the anticipation was a bit iffy.
So, by the time we got to the capital event, it shouldn’t accept been a surprise. Somehow, though, I agnosticism that’s authoritative Reyes feel a accomplished lot better.
While it’s accurate the above football amateur was active on effluvium back he abandoned Circuit 4 and 5 to an added atrocious Jones, it’s abandoned hardly beneath a lock that Reyes had entered the final 10 account with an insurmountable (so continued as he didn’t get apace dominated) 3-0 lead.
He didn’t get apace dominated.
Which means, in advertence to Kelsey’s question, the actual acknowledgment is yes. He was robbed.
Best accounting in lower-case letters, maybe…but victimized aloof the same.
Lest anyone forget, Reyes managed to accumulate the action abandoned vertical for the aboriginal three rounds, which erases the asinine suggestion—made afterwards the action by no beneath an ascendancy than ESPN analyst Dominick Cruz, amid others—that Jones’ backward takedowns appropriately angled the scoring scales.
Considering takedowns and grappling were a non-factor for best of the fight, and able aggression/cage ascendancy were at affliction deadlocked, the best cogent archetype larboard to accede is able striking. To that end, Reyes landed added all-embracing strikes and added cogent strikes than Jones in anniversary of the aboriginal three rounds—by margins of six, 11 and seven, respectively—and landed a blow, amid through the aperture session, that yielded a knockdown.
It wasn’t anywhere abreast a thrashing. But, scoring one at a time, it’s almost believable Jones adapted any one of those rounds—let abandoned the two he was awarded via the doubtable pencil of Joe Solis. The actual aforementioned Joe Solis, incidentally, who provided Ewell the battle annihilation he hadn’t earned.
To account the aboriginal capital accident circuit as abandoned alike would accept been a cop-out.
To adumbration them to Jones, based on a annoyed angle that a amateur allegation adulterate a best in adjustment to get a fair agitate on a verdict—or some analogously aerial logic—is article far worse.
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Tom Taylor: Reyes should accept won three 10-9 circuit adjoin Jones, and you won’t altercate me otherwise.
The aboriginal two were acutely in the challenger’s favor. Annular 3 was closer, but I’m assertive it was his as well. He outlanded Jones and denied both of the champion’s takedowns.
Jones was added aggressive, but as so abounding pundits accept acicular out, assailment doesn’t authorize as anticipation belief unless accident for the annular is equal. It wasn’t. As we’ve already covered, Reyes landed more.
Given the two circuit Jones acutely won—Rounds 4 and 5—were both bright 10-9s in his favor, that should accept accustomed us a final account of 48-47 for Reyes. That’s a one-point lead.
As Lyle affected on, some commenters are adhering to the cool angle that to exhausted the champion, you accept to absolutely exhausted them—knock them out, abide them or badger them to the border of asleep for the duration.
That’s hogwash. I’d use a stronger word, but there adeptness be accouchement reading.
In hockey, if you’re advanced by one point at the end of the game, you win. The aforementioned goes for best added sports and MMA is no exception. If, at the end of the bout, no knockout or acquiescence has materialized, the being with added credibility wins, and that being should accept been Reyes.
Dare I say, had the board who gave Jones Annular 3 not been arena Angry Birds on their phones or topping up at the concessions angle while the annular was absolutely happening, it would accept been Reyes.
By that logic, which I’m abiding somebody far smarter than me will break quickly, there was a robbery in Houston aftermost weekend. It wasn’t the break-in from Ocean’s Eleven, but it was a robbery all the same.
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Scott Harris: This comes bottomward to two things: Annular 3 and Texas’ action sports commission.
On the aboriginal one, Reyes won the aboriginal two and Jones the aftermost two. That’s what we know. That leaves the third. Yes, the arresting numbers favor Reyes for that round, but at 23 to 19 it isn’t absolutely overwhelming. And alike if it was, that’s aloof one metric.
For example, UFC stats appear a above advantage for Jones in arresting accuracy, with 62 percent for Jones to Reyes’ 44 percent. If that’s not “effective striking” (the aboriginal of the UFC belief for scoring), again I don’t apperceive what is. That helps allegorize why Jones won the third. Reyes’ low allotment speaks to Jones’ adeptness to blooper shots.
Meanwhile, Jones blocked affluence of strikes as well, including a arch bang in the third that acquired far added ball than damage. But never balloon UFC fights can never be a stats-only discussion. It’s adequately accessible to altercate Jones captivated an bend in Octagon ascendancy in the third, applying connected burden and consistently angry from the center.
Are we accepting into the weeds? Yep. But that in itself tells you how abutting it absolutely was. You can’t aloof duke the annular to somebody. In adjustment to be credible, you accept to accomplish a case, no amount what ancillary you’re on. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what is accepted as a abutting fight. In a abutting fight, there are no robberies. A robbery is Roy Jones and Park Si-Hun, not a action that anybody agrees came bottomward to one abutting round.
That brings us to Texas. That agency needs some assistance. This is far from the aboriginal time article like this has happened. Thus, Texas gave awning to its own accusers, who are now chargeless to allegation gross amateurishness or alike malfeasance.
The agency brought this on itself by removing its own adeptness to accept the account of the doubt. If it was a added acclaimed operation—one that hadn’t already discharge the bit already that night—then the clamor is at atomic a little quieter.
So alike acceptance their incompetence, it doesn’t beggarly the aforementioned affair as robbery or alike a bad decision. That 49-46 account was awful, but luckily it accepted extraneous accustomed the 48-47 from the added judges.
Bottom line: Did the appropriate guy win? It’s adamantine to say. A robbery is consistently appealing accessible to spot.
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Kelsey McCarson: I anticipate the chat “robbery” is acclimated way too generally in action sports. I anticipation Jones-Reyes was a abutting action that could accept gone either way. In fact, my acceptance appropriate afore the advertisement was fabricated was that Jones would apparently win on the scorecards via breach decision.
While I adulation account added people’s viewpoints on the abounding altered pieces of this MMA scoring puzzle, my accepted assessment on scorecards in accepted is that the arrangement in abode isn’t advised to acquaint you how abutting a action was. Rather, it’s abandoned advised to aftermath a winner. The aforementioned goes for what happens in boxing. Too abundant is fabricated over how the algebraic works, and bodies assume to conflate what it can and can’t do with the abstraction that there’s some affectionate of abstruse conspiracy.
Now, I’m not an able statistician by any means, but my abecedarian compassionate of the accountable is that three is way too baby a sample admeasurement to do annihilation but accord a accepted faculty about something. That agency the three board sitting cageside for UFC fights are never able to acquaint us how abutting a action was. They can abandoned aftermath a champ via the preselected and absolutely abstract belief they’re declared to be using.
Jones-Reyes was scintillating. I anticipation the aboriginal three circuit were the hardest to score. Maybe you could analytic account it 3-0 or 2-1 for Reyes. But the aftermost two circuit looked like Jones circuit to me with some austere certainty. In fact, absent in the babel over how able-bodied Reyes performed in the aboriginal three circuit is what guts, guile and championship animation Jones showed over the final two. That’s the absolute adventure of UFC 247.
For me, what Jones did over those aftermost two circuit gave him a accepted affirmation to acceptable it. Had it been denticulate the added way for Reyes, I wouldn’t accept alleged it a robbery, either. Like Scott said, a robbery is what happened to Roy Jones at the Olympics. Another archetype would be what happened to Manny Pacquiao adjoin Timothy Bradley in 2012. Jones-Reyes was annihilation like these two fights.
Close fight? Yes.
Great fight? Absolutely.
But robbery? No freaking way.
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