Was Eddie Gordon robbed of a win at UFC on FOX 15?

Much like the news of Tim Tebow’s NFL return, UFC on FOX 15 provided the MMA media with enough fresh and meaningful developments to talk and write about for days.UFC on FOX 15

There were a pair of middleweights that continued to establish themselves as worthy championship challengers (Rockhold and Jacare), several young fighters that took “the step” and are now in “the mix” (Holloway, VanZant, Dariush and Sterling), a trio of memorable finishes (OSP, Villante and Means) and one really messed up ear (sorry about that, Jim Hettes).

So naturally, this column is about Chris Dempsey and Eddie Gordon.

The tilt between Dempsey and Gordon was undoubtedly the night’s blandest bout, but the reason why this fight piqued my interest is the result itself, a controversial split decision that went Dempsey’s way.

Judges Cardo Urso and Michelle Agustin gave Dempsey the last two rounds, while Michael Depasquale Jr. scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Gordon, awarding the TUF 19 winner the first and third. Per MMADecisions.com, 13 of the 16 media members submitting scores to the site marked it for Gordon, while the 3 dissenters had it for Dempsey. Predictably, Gordon wasn’t a big fan of the decision.

“I’m not happy with my performance. I feel like I made the number one mistake, leaving it in the hands of the judges,” Gordon told Newsday’s Mark La Monica. “You’d think at this point, they’d [the judges] be the best at what they do.”

On MMA twitter, it was a controversial result. The uproar about the call lasted up until… the Hettes/Brandao fight got underway and the dispute about the score became a fading memory.

Still, I want to shine a spotlight on the fight one more time, re-score it round by round, arrive at a conclusion on the accuracy of the decision and finally stop thinking about this fight.

Round 1: This round was clear-cut. All three judges scored it for Gordon, who won it by landing more significant strikes and defending all of Dempsey’s takedowns attempts by turning him with a clinch against the cage. All throughout the frame, Gordon was able to land brutal rights that won him the stanza and cut up Dempsey above his left eye. 10-9 Gordon

Round 2: Now, the controversy begins. The second was a much closer version of the first. Dempsey pushed the pace, and Gordon landed less hard rights. Fight Metric actually had Dempsey out-landing Gordon with significant strikes at a 2:1 ratio, but there was a real difference between each fighter’s punches. The strikes Gordon landed clearly had more pop and did more damage.

Midway through the period, Gordon scored a takedown of his own and held Dempsey down for about 58 seconds, and with 13 seconds left, Dempsey ended the round with his first successful takedown of the fight. Neither fighter did much from the top position.

Dempsey landed more strikes, but Gordon had more effective striking. What Gordon gave up in volume of landed strikes, he more than made up for with the hard single punches that he landed, and as far as the wrestling/grappling went, Gordon had the slight edge. 10-9 Gordon.

Round 3: The closest of the three rounds. Gordon definitely tired and this was where his power right was least present. Both middleweights traded a pair of takedowns but neither did much with them (Dempsey was active from bottom both times searching for a similar guillotine choke-type finish that he got on the regional scene against Muhammad Abdullah).

Instead, Dempsey was able to score with a few notable punches that landed cleanly on Gordon and had pop. He did a nice job of attacking Gordon with combos when the clinch was initiated and separated. You could talk me into a 10-10 draw, but I have it 10-9 Dempsey and the fight scored 29-28 for Eddie Gordon.

Conclusion: Eddie Gordon was robbed. All right, that’s too severe an indictment. I had the benefit of re-watching it, and it was a close fight that could have justifiably gone either way in real time. By no means was the result an egregious mistake, but having viewed the fight several times now, I feel confident in saying that Eddie Gordon won the first two frames and the fight.

What Dempsey probably did well in the eye of the judges’ was push the pace, “control the octagon” and throw a high volume of strikes. The judges may have valued his forward movement and thought some of the punches he whiffed on actually landed.

So after watching one of the most entertaining and notables cards that the UFC has put on in 2015, my prevailing and concluding thought from the card is that the decision on first Fight Pass prelim was a little controversial.

I need help. Please pray for me, Tebow.