The Cold Hard Truth: On Sports

Everybody Makes Mistakes Even the UFC Big Ones

Everybody Makes Mistakes Even the UFC Big Ones

BY Matthew Long


Let’s face it, everyone makes mistakes, but not always to the extent the UFC and president Dana White made this past weekend in Macau.

On Saturday, at UFC Fight Night 48, Dana White was very upset with the way judge Howard Hughes scored the first two bouts, so he pulled him. You’re thinking what’s the big deal, well it is a very big deal in fighting or combat sport, it’s right up there with fixing a fight.

The thing is, had this happened in the US Dana would not have been able to boot the judge, because like referees, judges are a part of an independent state athletic commissions to prevent things like tampering, and you know, kicking judges our in the middle of an event. Adding, subtracting, and changing judges can effect the outcome of the fight, thus the reason for regulation. These rules and standards are put in place to assure fairness, and help breed competition.

I am not saying Dana cheated, or in any way was trying to change the out of any of the bouts, unfortunately that is part of the collateral damage heisting a judge.

White was only able to remove Hughes, because of loopholes in regulatory practices in some international fights. Some countries abroad correspond with American commissions, so the UFC usually polices themselves when promoting fights overseas. They hires their own judges, referees, and administers their own drug tests. On other hand, when White is in a place Las Vegas, NV, he has as much authority over a judges as you or I do. In fact, while in Macau, White wasn’t just the promoter in this case, he was also the regulatory body.

After it was all said done the UFC release the following state:

After an internal review, the UFC organization announced today that a breach of its independent regulatory protocol occurred on Saturday night during UFC FIGHT NIGHT MACAO.

After the second fight of the night, UFC President Dana White requested that Howard Hughes, one of the event’s five assigned judges, be removed from working any further bouts. Pursuant to UFC’s protocol, neither White nor any other UFC executive possesses such authority. Nevertheless, protocol was breached and Hughes did not work further bouts on Saturday night. The UFC organization has always been in support of government regulation and oversight. Additionally, the UFC has established a protocol when required to self-regulate events due to the lack of an official athletic commission, federation or other regulatory body.  In those instances where UFC holds events in locations without a regulatory body, the UFC’s protocol dictates that the organization’s internal regulators will handle all commission functions independently and without interference by company executives or employees. The UFC remains committed to maintaining the strictest regulatory environment for competition and vows that no similar breach of protocol will happen again. Both White and the UFC apologize to Mr. Hughes for calling his professional judgment into question. Hughes has judged more than 25 UFC fight cards and the UFC looks forward to him working on its events again in the future.

I can say for sure I do not have a definite answer to what will been done moving forward, but there should be some third party put in place to make sure that no one is put in this situation again. I’m sure the last Dana White wants to do deal with any allegation of cheating or fixing fight, or even being a part of changing the out of any fight.



Follow Matthew Long on Twitter @mattlongsports for updates on all things sports and entertainment, and listen to The Cold Hard Truth: On Truth radio show Tuesdays from 8:30p-10:30p EST on MRN Broadcasting powered by

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