UFC fans left enraged as Derek Cleary's judging 'robs' Henry Cejudo of bantamweight title

UFC judge Derek Cleary
UFC judge Derek Cleary's controversial scorecard for Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo fell short in his bid to become a two-time bantamweigt champion, losing to Aljamain Sterling via split decision at UFC 288. While it was a close fight, UFC judge Derek Cleary's controversial scorecard became a major bone of contention on social media.

Henry Cejudo came out of retirement after three years with the intention of reclaiming the bantamweight title he had never lost in the octagon. However, Aljamain Sterling spoiled Cejudo's plans with the split decision victory.

While two judges scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Sterling, judge Michael Bell scored it 48-47 for the challenger Cejudo. However, UFC judge Derek Cleary scored the fifth round in favor of the champion, a round which Henry Cejudo had won according to the majority of the MMA community.

Several fans believe that had Cleary scored the fifth round correctly, Cejudo would have walked away with the victory. The MMA community took to Twitter to lambast Derek Cleary. One fan wrote:

"Derek Clearly robbing @HenryCejudo of a title?"

Another fan wrote that Cleary should be held accountable for the mistake:

"Derek Cleary scoring the most clear 5th round to the wrong fighter ultimately robbed Henry Cejudo. These judges need to be held accountable. And so does DC, for being a complete idiot on the mic. Replace that drunk. #ufc288"

Former UFC women's featherweight title challenger Megan Anderson wrote:

"Incredibly close fight to score. I had Cejudo but definitely wouldn't want to be a judge for that one. Gotta respect Sterling as a competitor! #UFC288"

Meanwhile, rising UFC bantamweight contender Umar Nurmagomedov also agreed that the judges got the decision wrong:

"Made a mistake."

Check out some of the tweets below:

Henry Cejudo robbed: Some of UFC judge Derek Cleary's controversial scoring in recent times

Derek Cleary's scoring in several high-profile fights has been highly criticized by fans and competitors, earning him a reputation as one of the most controversial judges in the UFC.

Most recently, Cleary's scorecard for Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 was heavily chastized on social media after the UFC judge scored the razor-thin contest 49-46 in favor of the Dagestani. The other two judges scored the fight 48-47 in favor of Makhachev.

Similarly, at last year's UFC London event, Derek Cleary's scorecard was fiercely contested when strawweight contenders Cory McKenna and Elise Reed locked horns. While two judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Reed, Cleary awarded the fight 30-27 to McKenna.

In the past, former bantamweight champion Holly Holm has also lashed out at the judges when she lost a narrow split decision to Ketlen Vieira last year. Derek Cleary had also infamously scored Anderson Silva's UFC 208 bout against Derek Brunson in favor of 'The Spider' while many fans believed that the American had done enough to get his hand raised.

Cleary's scorecard became a source of contention once again at UFC 288 when he scored the final round in favour of the champion Aljamain Sterling, despite the fact that fight fans believed that the challenger Henry Cejudo had obviously won the round.

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