Edson Barboza and Paul Felder went to war once again at UFC 242 this past Saturday.
Lightweight action stole the spotlight on the main card of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi this past Saturday as three great matchups preceded the championship main event. In the bout directly before the title was contested, we got a clash between two fighters that met for the second time in their careers… but this time the stakes were much higher.
Squaring off was the pairing of a perennial top contender in Brazil’s Edson Barboza and the rising contender, Paul Felder. The first time they met was in July 2015 at UFC on Fox 16. As expected, it was a fun battle between phenomenal strikers and the second outing was no different.
With Barboza winning fight No. 1 by way of unanimous decision, the case wouldn’t be the same for the rematch as “The Irish Dragon” got the split decision nod. Thus further propelling Felder up the 155-pound ladder.
Although it was a great and competitive fight, Barboza’s team isn’t at all agreeing with the outcome as they are now planning to appeal the loss.
“It’s a question of principle,” Barboza’s manager, Alex Davis, told MMA Junkie. “There’s something called motivated reasoning, and as human beings, we are incapable of giving a fair evaluation of something we have an emotional attachment to. I understand that, and I’m really careful about what I say after fights until I watch them again, until I calm down and look at it. In this case, not only myself but it seems the whole world sees this in the same way I do.”
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) September 7, 2019
“Now, I do not mean any disrespect for Paul Felder, who I love as a person and a fighter, or his camp. They’re great guys, but the truth is that the world saw Edson winning, and what really makes it obvious that something’s wrong is when you have the situation – and even Paul Felder’s camp agrees with this point – when you have one judge scoring it 30-27 for one fighter, and another judge scores it 30-27 for the other fighter, something is obviously wrong.”
Was it really that bad?
As alluded to, the fight was a great one no matter who is believed to be the rightful victor. And as Davis claims; “the world saw Edson winning.”
Obviously, that’s a bit of a hyperbolic statement but for the most part, he appears to be right.
According to MMADecisions.com, 13 of the 16 media scores turned in believed that Barboza won the fight. All of which scored it 29-28. As was also the case for those in favor of Felder. Out of 58 fan scorecards submitted, 65.5% gave the fight to the Brazilian.
Statistically, it was about as close of a fight as you can get. Despite that, the consensus appears to be Barboza winning the first and second frames of the bout. Barboza outstruck Felder by only two strikes with 77 to 75 in total. On top of that, he secured a takedown in round two which saw him outstrike his adversary 37-31.
Regardless, the big problem for Davis is the negative impact that this has on his fighter’s career.
“We will do this,” Davis said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s difficult or if it seems that we’re not going to get anywhere. We’re going to do it by a question of principle. It has to be done.”
With the loss, it now makes the 28-fight veteran, Barboza, 1-4 in his last five outings and puts him on a two-fight losing streak after the prior loss to Justin Gaethje. His last win came over Dan Hooker at UFC Milwaukee in December of last year.
It’s extremely rare that officiating mistakes of any kind get overturned in MMA. And when it comes to decisions, it’s hard to remember if there has ever even been a successful appeal against one.
Make sure to follow The Scrap News (@thescrapnews) on Twitter.
The Scrap’s Drake Riggs is a MMA writer and YouTuber based out of Brush Prairie, Washington who specializes in feature pieces, the women’s fight scene, lists, news coverage, and rankings. Riggs has been a passionate MMA fan since 2009 and has written for various news sources. You can follow him on Twitter (@Dre_Kriggs).