Even in fights that appear relatively easy to score, MMA judges have shown a propensity to make horrible decisions that are frequently illogical and occasionally highly suspicious. There is perhaps no better example of that than Chris Tuchscherer (18-2)'s majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28) victory over Alberta's Tim "The Thrashing Machine" Hague (10-3) on the under card at UFC 109: Couture vs. Coleman.
The play-by-play post on Sherdog.com scored the fight 29-27 for Tim Hague with a 10-8 final round, and nearly every other live reporter scored the fight either the same or as 29-28 Hague. The following is an excerpt from Sherdog's play-by-play of the end of the third round, followed by their coverage of the decision:
Third Round: ...They scramble again but Hague is able to keep Tuchscherer down and against the fence. 30 seconds left and Tuchscherer needs a miracle. Hague now in half guard and wails away with punches. The horn sounds and saves Tuchscherer from a stoppage. 10-8 Hague.
Official scores: 29-28 (twice) and a 28-28 for Tuchscherer. The crowd boos and Hague is in disbelief. Joe Rogan looks stunned as Tuchscherer takes the majority decision.
The decision was unforgivably atrocious given that not a single judge awarded the fight to Tim Hague, but perhaps even less forgivable was the UFC's reaction. Zuffa has since released Tim Hague from his contract despite the obvious blown-call. This not only makes the promotion look out of touch with its fans, it actually hints at possible favouritism toward Tuchscherer, the training partner of their heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar (4-1).
Tim himself has remained classy and upbeat throughout the ordeal, posting the following assessment of the situation on his Facebook account:
"just watched the fight on UFC.com for $1.99 Joe Rogan said it was the worst decision he's ever seen in his life. I gotta say I agree. And on top of it I get released from my contract. Go watch the fight, judges suck ass. Oh well, win 4 in a row and im back hopefully at 14-3"In the court of public opinion, Tim Hague was the rightful winner of the fight, which can only help him to secure big fights going forward. That said, he should have been allowed to continue pursuing his craft in the world's biggest MMA promotion. The UFC is correct to point out whenever criticized that they can't control the judges decisions, but Zuffa can certainly improve the choices they make themselves.