UFC Judge Responds To Criticism From Joe Rogan, Daniel Cormier On Controversial Scorecard
State Athletic Commissions tend to prevent officials from speaking out to the public, but for MMA judge Seth Fuller, that rule did not remain. He spoke publicly in a video about scoring fights for 30 minutes.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation follows this rule, which is the commissioning body Fuller worked for. He judged UFC 277 in Dallas.
Fuller received lots of criticism for one of his scorecards.
Some of the people who criticized the MMA judge include commentators Joe Rogan, Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier, as well as online by fans and media.
“Anybody who watched (UFC 277) heard me disparaged, made fun of, and that’s fine,” Fuller said. “I have a thick skin, but it’s not right, because it’s just not factual.”
Fuller had shared that UFC 277 was a dream of his for the past 10 years, he was not aware of the controversy until receiving an unknown text message.
“Are you even watching the fights f–ktard?” the message read. “No one in the world had Mayes except you. Sad when even the commentators are clowning your terrible ability to do your job.”
The bout that had been questioned was a heavyweight prelim. Hamdy Abdelwahab had defeated Don’Tale Mayes by split decision.
But for judges Kent Basinger and Dan Mathisen, they scored the bout 29-28 for Abdelwahab, while Fuller scored the fight 29-28 for Mayes.
“I mean, come on,” Cormier said on the broadcast. “… Somebody gave Don’Tale the third round, Joe.”
Rogan responded, “That guy needs a talking to. We need to check and see what he bet on.”
This is not the first time that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has been criticized with scorecards.
This is also not the first time that Rogan has spoken out.
In 2020, Rogan accused judge Joe Soliz of not paying attention to one of the fights at UFC 247.
People shared online and in the broadcast that UFC 277 featured many judges who either had little or no UFC experience.
Fuller shared that the judges had a decade of experience, but did not have much experience when it came to the UFC.
“I figure I’ve judged about 80 cards and several hundred fights themselves,” Fuller said.
“I’ve judged and reffed, because I do both. Now again, is that experience enough? I don’t know in what profession 10 years of doing something is not considered seasoned. … This ‘regional’ judge Steve Armstrong, here he is at UFC 5 cornering Guy Mezger – UFC 5. He’d been doing it since before this. How much more seasoned do you need to be? The other judges, Ken Basinger, Dan Mathison, Aaron Menard have also been doing it over a decade. These are seasoned judges. For them to talk about it again, every time a judge makes a score they don’t like, they have to insult them.”
Fuller believed he could have screwed up, but took a deep dive into his original scorecard, breaking it down and showing fight clips and criteria references.
“If you disagree, that’s fine,” Fuller said.
“Two other judges obviously disagreed, and I have no problem with that. I just want to show you I’m not an idiot. I’m not bad at scoring. I don’t not know what I’m looking at. I do know what I’m looking at. In fact, I’d say I know the rules that I just read to you better than the announcers, because the announcers just went through the course that I went through 12 years ago.”
According to Fuller, going for Abdelwahab was a “safe” decision. But he decided to choose Mayes.
“I take my job very seriously,” Fuller said.
“Both of these fighters put their lives on the line, their health on the line, and their money on the line. It’s not my fault my score can effect one of their purses. I don’t think that’s right. I think that’s a terrible idea, but I take it seriously. I didn’t just willy-nilly give out that score. I decided I felt Mayes, from everything that I saw, had outscored in damage Abdelwahab in that round, and so I wrote it down.”
Fuller does not hold any grudge towards anyone. He is also a fan of Rogan. He shared that his video was to stick up for himself due to fear for his future.
“The commission (might go), ‘Hey, this is why we shouldn’t have put this guy on the main UFC. This is why we shouldn’t have put Steve Armstrong in the main UFC. This is why we shouldn’t have put these local judges on the main UFC card.’ To me, that’s a bunch of BS,” Fuller said.
“To me, if I’m doing it wrong, then cite me for doing it wrong. But if you’re pretending that I’m not experienced, or I was careless, or I didn’t think or concentrate or didn’t do my absolute best and that I don’t care about these fighters and don’t care if the result is the correct result, according to the rules that they agreed to, then you are crazy. You’re just plain wrong. It’s not OK.
Fuller continued, “Most (judges) are retired from other things, have other jobs, run other gyms. I respect them all, and they had to keep quiet for a long time and not respond to all of those people for a long time. Therefore, that makes them better men than me. But hopefully I serve as a representative. Hopefully they’ll be kind of proud of me like, ‘Yeah, finally someone is speaking out.’”