UFC President Dana White blasts Nevada commission as ‘incompetent’
LAS VEGAS — Fight judges retained by the Nevada State Athletic Commission have struggled in the last 18 months.
Two gave Timothy Bradley a highly controversial split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao last year; one of those also scored Floyd Mayweather’s mastery over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in September a draw.
And now, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White believes two others, Sal D’Amato and Tony Weeks, were “atrocious” and “incompetent” in giving UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre a 48-47 split-decision victory over challenger Johny Hendricks on Saturday night at the MGM Grand. Judge Glenn Trowbridge scored the fight 48-47 for Hendricks.
“Does anybody here think Johny Hendricks didn’t win the fight?” White asked reporters after Hendricks left St-Pierre cut under both eyes and with a badly swollen face.
When a handful of reporters said they had St-Pierre winning the first, third and fifth rounds, with Hendricks handily winning the second and fourth rounds, White responded, “Did you see Georges get smashed and hurt in the first round? It’s about damage. This is a fight. It’s whoever inflicts the most damage. He got hurt, got wobbled, got dropped.
“I’m a promoter, he’s the biggest star on the planet to me, and I still don’t think he won that fight. I want what’s fair and that’s not fair.”
Then, White assailed his home state’s commission.
“The Nevada State Athletic Commission is atrocious. … I think the governor needs to step in immediately before these guys destroy the sport like they did boxing.
“The governor needs to step in and fix the incompetence that is happening in Nevada, to what used to be the best commission in the world. It’s absolute 100% incompetence. I’m scared to come back to the state and do fights. I’m afraid of this state.”
That last statement could have an impact, since that same fear struck after since-retired judge C.J. Ross turned in her score in the Mayweather-Alvarez fight that emerged as the most lucrative in the sport’s history.
A phone call between Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and NSAC Chairman Bill Brady followed, and changes were made allowing fighters and promoters a voice in the selection of judges.
White can take his fights elsewhere, a blow to state coffers considering Saturday night’s gate was $5.7 million and the fact that UFC has another major card coming at the MGM Grand on Dec. 28 – the fifth pay-per-view card of the year in Las Vegas.
Currently, the UFC has a Feb. 22 date set for Nevada, but the main event of light-heavyweight Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira has been postponed, so that card’s significance is dubious at this hour.
So is the UFC’s willingness to keep fights home.
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