Once again the result of a Diego Sanchez fight had fans, fighters, media, and any other viewers of the fight on Saturday evening in an uproar. This time, it wasn’t because of the war in the trenches type of performance many have come to expect from Diego Sanchez, but rather because of the judges’ decision of the fight between Sanchez and Ross Pearson.
The three judges ruled a split decision for Diego Sanchez, with two judges splitting opposite 30-27 scores for both fighters—Jeff Collins for Diego and Marcos Rosales for Ross, and one judge, Chris Tellez awarding the fight 29-28 to Sanchez.
The official scorecard can be seen below (courtesy of John Morgan):
And here is that ridiculous set of scores. pic.twitter.com/BWjKFWKHCr
— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) June 8, 2014
According to MMADecisions.com, of the media members scoring the fight, 13 of 14 scored it a clean sweep 30-27 for Ross Pearson, with a lone member scoring it 29-28 for Pearson.
Controversial decisions are not uncommon when it comes to a Diego Sanchez fight, as we’ve seen in the past when he was awarded the split decision over Takanori Gomi at UFC on Fuel TV 8—which many felt Gomi had won. And also when he got the unanimous decision over Martin Kampmann. Both highly disputed decisions, and this result adds to the list.
None the less, Diego Sanchez with the victory avoided his first career 3-fight losing streak, while Ross Pearson suffers another unfortunate circumstance in back-to-back fights—coming off an illegal knee stoppage against Melvin Guillard.
Speaking at the press conference, Diego believes he definitely did enough to win the fight. And despite what others may think—and he is well aware of the difference in opinion his previous fights have garnered, Diego is happy with the victory.
“I definitely thought I won the 1st and the 3rd round. I thought it was unanimous,” Sanchez said. “I definitely thought I won the fight.” But also admitting that the 30-27 scorecard for himself was ‘ridiculous’.”
“Ain’t no haters going to rob me of my joy right now, my victory, this is a great night for me” Diego said. “I thought I won the fight, 100%. And so did the judges. The judges came and did their job. Some reporters could say this, they could say that. I’m the original guy, I’ve dealt with this my entire career. I’ve had people say ‘oh he lost this fight, no he didn’t win this fight’. You know what I won the fight tonight, my hand is raised, and I’m happy.”
On the losing end, Ross Pearson feels he literally got robbed by the judges for half of his paycheck, as a result of the decision.
“I think I outclassed Diego, I picked my shots well, I think I won every round,” Pearson said.”He put on a tough fight but I believe I won every round.”
“I believe I’ve lost half a paycheck. The judges they don’t lose half a paycheck. I feel like I’ve been robbed.”
Coming off a dream fight in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Diego Sanchez continued to lobby for his spot on the upcoming UFC event in Mexico—his 2nd dream fight, and he already has an opponent in mind.
“This was my dream fight, to fight here in Albuquerque, to me it was a dream come true. My other dream fight is to fight in Mexico City, to fight in Mexico period, anywhere in Mexico. Since I won the ultimate fighter in 2005, they’ve been taking about Mexico. It’s been 10 years, now it’s finally happening. I just got a win and I’m looking to get on that card. I’d like to get a fight with [Nate] Diaz, I’m sure he wouldn’t want to take the fight. But that’s the fight I would love to give Mexico, is Diego, Diaz.”