Morning Report: Daniel Cormier reveals frustration with judging at UFC Vegas 55: ‘Once again they keep on making these mistakes’

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Daniel Cormier thinks either he or the judges don’t know what they are doing.

This past weekend, Cormier was on the commentary team for UFC Vegas 55 and, on two occasions, he felt like a fighter was robbed of a winning performance from the judges. In the main card opener, Jun-yong Park won a split decision over Eryk Anders, and in the main event, Ketlen Vieira lost a split decision to Ketlen Vieira, and in both instances, Cormier does not understand what the judges were scoring.

“In the Anders fight, Jun-yong Park was landing damaging strikes, he really was,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “When he would hit Eryk Anders you would see a reaction, you would see Anders’ head go back, you would see it take an effect on him, so I get it. But Anders was landing also, also he was controlling the clinch. Guys, this is where I don’t really understand what I’m watching in terms of the fight. Anders fight, Holm fight, both has so much control time against the side of the octagon that I don’t know how they are losing the fight. I think probably the most famous instance in which that happened was Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal, the first fight. If there is no value in clinch control, then how did Kamaru win that fight so dominantly the first time he fought Masvidal? And I’m not talking about dominant in terms in damage, I’m talking about across the scorecards, because very few judges scored the round for Jorge Masvidal outside of round one. What they did was give value and credit to Kamaru Usman for putting Masvidal in a position that he did not want to go to.

“That is where I think the judging gets f***** up a little bit. Because Ketlen Vieira does not want to be against the side of the octagon being held by Holly Holm. Regardless of what you think in terms of the damage, she doesn’t want to be there. If she had her choice, she’d have Holm up against the octagon or she’d be out in the center striking, but instead she’s controlled for more than 10 minutes. And I think Andre Pederneiras’ reactions show what he thought, or how he thought the fight was playing out. But once again it’s on the judges. Once again they keep on making these mistakes, I would think? Or we just don’t know what the hell we’re watching.”

The two fights shared a lot of similarities, with both Holm and Anders getting out-struck at range and so instead forcing their opponent up against the fence for big stretches of the contest. MMA judging places a premium on damage, which is ostensibly how the judges came to their determinations of who won, but for Cormier, the inconsistency of judging across events makes it difficult to know what to expect on any given night, which affects everything about the fights, including their commentary. And when a two-division world champion is still unclear on how things are supposed to go, that’s a problem.

“This is no knock on Ketlen Vieira,” Cormier said. “When I state these opinions, it’s not a direct attack on anyone in particular, this is just me saying what I feel and where I believe the blame resides, and the blame resides in the judging. It really does. There’s a lot of times where we are calling the fights and we get lost talking about the judging, what we think the scorecards will be, and how we think the fight will look in the end, and the reality is, when we do that, we are not doing our job. We aren’t.

“My job is not to tell you who is winning the rounds, it’s to tell you how does a fighter get from Point A to Point B, how to do this, this, and the other, how do you manage what goes on inside the octagon. From Fighter 1’s perspective to Fighter 2’s perspective. How does Fighter 1 get their hand raised and what does Fighter 2 need to do to not allow that to happen, and vice versa. But because the judging has become such a main topic of conversation, now we’re spending time discussing that because we are so unsure what it’s going to look like at the end of the fight. Last night was probably the most clear instance in which I felt like I did not know what I’m watching, I guess. Because I was on the wrong side of two fights that I thought were going one direction and didn’t.”


Results. Ketlen Vieira scored controversial split decision win over Holly Holm at UFC Vegas 55.

Results. Junior dos Santos injures shoulder, Hector Lombard vs. Thiago Silva ends in no contest.

Winner. Ketlen Vieira feels Holly Holm tried to ‘neutralize’ as opposed to win, says she felt ‘light tap’ during submission struggle.

Upset. Holly Holm ‘pretty upset’ with judges after split decision loss to Ketlen Vieira: ‘I truly felt in my heart that I won the fight’.

DMs. Michel Pereira reveals DMs Jorge Masvidal sent to his wife, wants to understand why with fight.

Injury. ‘I was feeling so happy’: Junior dos Santos releases injury update after Eagle FC 47 loss.

Title. Julianna Pena vs. Amanda Nunes 2 announced as UFC 277 main event.


UFC Vegas 55 Post Show.

UFC Vegas 55 Post Fight Press Conference.

Paddy Pimblett experiences California.

Stephen Thompson plays real life fruit ninja.


On to the Next One. Matches to make following UFC Vegas 55.


Masvidal responds to Pereira.

How crazy a world and how far has society fallen that this idiot @UfcPereira would use his wife to hopefully 1 day get a paycheck and create a fake narrative to try and get a fight with me when clearly he sees she slid in my dm? Wishing you guys the best #marriagecounselor

— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) May 23, 2022

It’s super weird that Dustin Poirier wants to fight and the UFC just isn’t giving him one.



— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) May 22, 2022


Bruhhhh… implement open scoring for the love of god

— Jeff Molina (@jmolina_125) May 22, 2022

Bro!!!! Knowing who’s winning will only confuse us more! How can people not understand this?

— Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) May 22, 2022

What if other sports were scored by a panel of 3 and it wasn’t until the game was over that everyone found out who won? That would be fun.

— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) May 22, 2022

I don’t like the idea of open scoring !

— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) May 22, 2022

They’re all weenies

— Ricky Simón (@RickySimonUFC) May 22, 2022


Interesting note about last nights dec. Although I still believe Holly won that deciding 3rd round. We were all swayed by the corner of Vieira. Hearing Andre Pederneiras believing they were losing the fight and behind on the cards justified Holly winning those close rounds to us

— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) May 22, 2022

I remember thinking after hearing the corner so frustrated. Yes she definitely needs to not settle for being against the cage. But, it’s closer than you think! Take that corner mic out in between rounds and more people would have seen this fight closer. Judge what you see!

— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) May 22, 2022

Not what either corner is believing!

— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) May 22, 2022


Skinny ass hoe showed up at the fights wearing the same outfit trying to steal my shine …nah bitch not today.

— Laura Sanko (@laura_sanko) May 22, 2022


Julianna Pena (11-4) vs. Amanda Nunes (21-5); UFC 277, July 30.


Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.


If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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