Narratiive Tags - Khaleej Times Desktop
Local Sports

The refereeing standards need to rise, admits White

Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Filed on July 12, 2020
Alexander Volkanovski of Australia punches Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event in Abu Dhabi. - Reuters

The 'Blessed' once again felt hard done by on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

Was Max Holloway robbed of the featherweight title again?

Seven months after his defeat to Alexander Volkanovski via a unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47 and 50-45) saw him lose the championship belt and spark whispers of discontent on poor referring, the 'Blessed' once again felt hard done by on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.

The clamour following the defeat last December eventually led to the rematch. In the pre-fight virtual media events here in Abu Dhabi, Holloway even said that among the lessons he had learnt from UFC 245 was not to leave the decision to the judges.

"Don't leave it to the judges. They will make you cry. So I will look for a finish," he said.

And on Sunday, Holloway came out with all guns blazing in the first three rounds until 'Great' Volkanovski staged a late rally.

But when the judges awarded a split-decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47) to Volkanovski, Holloway was not the only person to have felt the pain.

Even Dana White, the UFC president, was perplexed by the decision.

"You can't leave it to these guys. We got some bad judging. I'm sure he's (Max) devastated," White told reporters at the post-fight press conference.

"Anybody in here scored for Volkanovski? Anybody had Volkanovski? Nobody in the media," asked White.

Talking about prospects of another rematch, White added: "I don't know, we will have to figure it out."

Another incident that didn't go unnoticed was the late call made by the referee to stop the bantamweight championship bout when Petr Yan busted an exhausted Jose Aldo wide open in the final round.

And then the referee allowed Yan to continue landing a flurry of punches on Aldo, who was not defending and the mat below him got covered in blood.

"It was a horrible, horrible stoppage by the referee. It should have been stopped way sooner. We got to tighten up our refs and judges here on Fight Island," White added.

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /sport/local/ufc-fight-island-figueiredo-batters-benavidez-to-clinch-flyweight-title-in-abu-dhabi macro_action: article, macro_profile: , macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery