Judge’s Scorecard In Raufeon Stots’ Win Vs. Danny Sabatello To Be Reviewed

Stots won by split decision.

Judges will review the Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello Bellator 289 case, which was overseen by the Mohegan commission – punishments may be issued.


Following experienced judge Doug Crosby’s 50-45 decision in the main event of Bellator 289, the commission in charge of the fight’s scoring has been called to be examined.


Mohegan Athletic Department Director of Athletics Mike Mazzulli issued a prepared statement in which he stated that he had no concerns with the final result but was worried about the “controversial” 50-45 score. He organized a review of the contest with the three judges: Crosby, Eric Colon and Bryan Miner.


“In the last Bellator event (December 9, 2022) there was a controversy in the Sabatello vs. Stots fight,” Mazzulli wrote. “After reviewing the fight, three rounds of the five rounds were extremely close and the other two were marginally close rounds.


“One judge had Sabatello winning all five rounds, which is controversial. But ultimately Stots won the decision, which is the correct result. In an effort to make this a learning moment, I have informed all three judges we will be reviewing the fight together.”


Four out of the five media outlets that scored the bout on MMADecisions.com awarded the interim bantamweight champion Stots a unanimous decision victory by a score of 48-47, while one media outlet scored it 48-47 in favor of Sabatello.


According to the website, Crosby was the least popular judge, with over 50 fights rated 12.5 percent of the time (7 of 57) in the fights he judged in 2022. Colon was second-worst with 12.28 percent.


Mazzulli did not go into detail regarding the review procedure, but he did say that judges’ assignments would be lost if they failed to apply the criteria appropriately.


“This is a very serious situation,” he wrote.


“The Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department always looks out for the best interests of all fighters. In the past the Mohegan Tribe Athletic Department has sanctioned officials that are not performing to the level that is required. Such sanctions, when they occur, are not made public.”


Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon, the co-main event of UFC 282, was also judged by Crosby, who has presided over several high-profile UFC fights. He was then in the majority, scoring in

Rounds 1 and 2 to help Pimblett defeat Gordon by a score of 29–28.


Following the decision, Sabatello expressed his dissatisfaction, claiming that Crosby’s scorecard, compared to Stots’ remaining two, “doesn’t make sense.”


Aljamain Sterling, the UFC bantamweight champion, criticized the veteran judge in a tweet, writing, “that’s gotta be most ignorant judging I’ve seen in awhile at a high level of MMA.” 


Crosby and Longo, Sterling’s longtime coach, were at conflict, and this led to a disagreement of interest claim against Al Iaquinta, one of Sterling’s training partners.


Scott Coker, the president of Bellator, expressed sympathy for the judges during the tight title match but said, “The 50-45, I don’t know where it came from. It seemed to me that any outcome was possible.”


In the Bellator 289 bantamweight grand Prix finals, Stots will face Patchy Mix, who beat Magomed Magomedov. The tournament winner will get $1 million.

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