Bellator 266 judging controversy: Bellator 266 recently concluded at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. It was headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between number 3 ranked Bellator light-heavyweight Phil Davis and Bellator newcomer and former UFC veteran Yoel Romero. Romero was supposed to have made his debut earlier this year, but a medical issue kept him out.
Following Neiman Gracie’s impressive TKO win over Mark Lemminger in the co-main event, Romero vs Lemminger went ahead. The fight seemed to be going well for ‘The Soldier of God’. But Lemminger upped the ante towards the end of the first round, and continued it in the next as well.
In the end, it was Davis who earned the victory. The 36-year old earned a narrow split decision win over the veteran Cuban. However, there was more to it, the MMA world felt that Davis should have clearly won the fight, and not via. split decision. With two judges scoring the contest clearly in favour of Davis, the other judge Jerin Valel scored 28-29 in favour of Yoel Romero, to the surprise of everyone.
Bellator 266 judging controversy explained
A number of MMA experts slammed Valel for his scoring. The final stat card showed Davis outscoring Romero in almost every department. Davis had 59 strikes out of 154, while Romero just struck Davis 25 out of the 58 he attempted. The American threw a whopping 118 punches, out of which 26 landed. Romero threw just 12 successful punches.
Romero was nowhere near the takedowns Davis landed in the fight. Davis attempted seven takedowns, out of which 5 were successful. Romero attempted none. But still, Valel went ahead to score in favour of Romero. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin pointed out the fact that Valel was one of the worst referees in MMA History, let alone judge.
Here are a few other reactions to Jerin Valel’s judging: