John Dodson fought out of his UFC contract with a split-decision victory over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 222 in Las Vegas, NV, on March 3, but his opponent is frustrated and upset with the judges’ call.
A few days after the decision defeat, “leaving the emotion aside and evaluating the criteria” after rewatching the fight “several times,” Munhoz spoke to MMA Fighting and voiced his discontent. “The Young Punisher” thought he had done enough to win rounds two and three.
Munhoz says he landed more significant strikes and dominated 14 of the 15 minutes of the bout. According to FightMetric, Dodson landed 76 of 184 significant strikes, while his opponent connected 69 of 172. Yet, Munhoz says many of Dodson’s attacks that were considered significant did no damage at all.
”I kicked his thigh the entire fight, landed two clean head kicks and rocked him, landed good right hands, and all he did was jab me,” Munhoz said. “He didn’t get close to rock me.”
”The first round, let’s say it was 60-40 in his favor. I clearly controlled the second and third rounds. He landed less punches in the third round, and I gave my all. I wasn’t sure who won the first round, so I went for the finish in the third. He walked backwards the entire round. I landed more kicks. I landed a kick to his abs, and it clearly wasn’t a low blow, but he faked it. I also took him down after controlling the entire round, and the crowd booed him in the end.”
Adalaide Byrd was the judge that gave the controversial 30-27 score in Dodson’s favor. She was also the only judge that gave Ashley Yoder the victory over Mackenzie Dern at UFC 222, and a 118-110 win for Canelo Alvarez against Gennady Golovkin in boxing in 2017.
”What did (Dodson) do in the entire fight? He survived, he ran, he landed un-significant strikes,” Munhoz said. “One of the judges scored it 30-27. It was absurd. Which fight did she watch? One judge gave me a 29-28, the other one gave (Dodson) a 29-28. Close scores. I saw people saying I won. I even got messages from his fans saying that he lost this fight.”
Munhoz has been fighting for almost two decades now, and thinks it’s time to stop using boxing commissions in MMA events.
”If it’s a MMA event, you need MMA judges and a MMA commission,” Munhoz said. “It can’t be some boxing guys. It’s a completely different sport. If someone is judging a MMA fight, they need to know what MMA is. Boxing is completely different. In MMA you have elbows, knees, kicks, takedowns and a lot more.
”You can be a boxing judge, no problem, but you have to be capable of analyzing a MMA fight. That affects the way a judge is scoring your fight. 30-27 is ridiculous.”
Another thing that bothers Munhoz is the fact that judges never have to publicly explain their decisions.
”Referees come to our locker room to say what he expects from the fight,” Munhoz said, “but how about the judges? Who are those people? What are they looking for in a fight? A fighter backing up and countering, or a guy being the aggressor? Dodson as a strategist, running, countering, landing no significant strike? What do they expect? Are they from boxing? Do they ignore kicks? Because apparently they didn’t consider any kicks in my fight. My takedown in the third round was worth nothing, because I lost the round. Let’s all box, forget about MMA.”
With no current plans of appealing the decision loss, the American Top Team bantamweight will take a week off from training to recover after a 10-week camp, including his preparation for UFC Belem on Feb. 3, the original date for his bout with Dodson.
He doesn’t have a timeline set yet for his next bout in the UFC, but doesn’t seem to interested in a rematch with “The Magician”.
”What would he do in a rematch? Run again? Will the judge score my aggressiveness and desire to win the fight?” Munhoz asked. “It was the last fight of his UFC contract, and I don’t know if the UFC is happy with him or not, so I don’t know if that would be possible. I’m frustrated. I left it all in there, and he only tried to get away.”