The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which is in charge of regulating all forms of combat sports events in the state recently came out with a statement defending allegations of incompetence on behalf of its officials amid calls for reforms in the judging system in the aftermath of the main event at UFC 247, which saw Jon Jones edging Dominick Reyes in a unanimous decision win.
In the statement which was sent to MMA Fighting and MMA Junkie in response to a list of questions about officiating issues, TDLR iterated the fact that in a high octane sport such as MMA, there will always be difference in opinions as to who the better fighter on the night was but that doesn't mean that the judges officiating the fight are incompetent.
"As in all athletic events, athletes, teams, judges, fans and media representatives can – and often do – have differing opinions about what happened in a combative sports match. TDLR applauds the passion everyone is exhibiting about this sport.”
Most MMA publications scored the closely contested fight in favor of Reyes while few gave it to Jones but what was startling about the judges' scorecards is the fact that one judge - Joe Soliz scored the bout 49-46 in favor of the champ. This drew the ire of fight fans, critics, MMA media around the globe.
TDLR also mentioned that while selecting judges for an event, they consult with the promotion itself, therefore they are not directly responsible for the shoddy job that the judges did.
"In selecting ringside officials, TDLR takes into consideration recommendations made by the promoter. As with all events, TDLR works closely with promoters to ensure the quality and experience of referees and judges to protect the health and safety of the fighters."