July 13, 2020

Duke Roufus: Paul Felder ‘lost $82,000 because of the judges’ at UFC Auckland


By Milan Ordoñez@Mr_Ordonez

Ahead of UFC Auckland, Paul Felder was on a two-fight win streak and was on the verge of hitting the top five of the official lightweight rankings. But a split decision loss to Dan Hooker changed all of that, so much so that it made “The Irish Dragon” think about retirement right on the spot.

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Felder’s coach Duke Roufus wasn’t fond of the outcome, but mainly because of the judges’ decision. He expressed his dismay in a recent episode of the Luke Thomas Show.

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“When the judges make mistakes, they go home with the same paycheck…Paul Felder and his family lost $82,000 because of the judges.”- @coachdukeroufus discusses the problems with MMA judging@lthomasnews

Hear the full interview on the #TLTS Podcasthttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-luke-thomas-show/id1494774890#episodeGuid=0002f343-7ae3-405b-a11f-0bb9194e35e1 …818:22 AM – Feb 26, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy25 people are talking about this

“I don’t have much confidence anymore in judges,” Roufus said (transcript by BJPenn.com). “All these kids, when things don’t go well for them and they have a bad performance, they’re expected to go to the press conference and give all their answers, all their reasons.

“Guys like you call me up after a fight and good, bad, or indifferent, I answer your questions as painfully as they are sometimes when we crap the bed as a team. Whereas all the referees and judges they get to vanish into thin air.”

Roufus gave his own experience of what he feels are critical lapses of the officials on the table.

“In Israel last year, Emmanuel Sanchez vs. ‘Pitbull’ [Patricio Freire],” Roufus recalled. “All three judges scored the third round for Pitbull and I asked them ‘do takedowns matter in the unified rules of MMA?’ and they said no they don’t. Then I said ‘why did all three of you judges score that round for Pitbull?’ They said ‘well the takedown at the end of the round.’ So I go ‘you just said that takedowns don’t matter’ — especially that one.

“He took Manny down and held onto him for 30 seconds at the end of the round where Manny had out-struck him that entire round and there was no wrestling or grappling the rest of the round.

“One of the judges was gracious enough to at least listen to my opinion, the other two judges got upset with me and they told me they don’t need to listen to my shit and they took off,” he continued. “So, that’s the problem with judging here, my friends.”

What hurts the Felder camp more, Roufus says, is the sum of money that their fighter lost. He also offered his own solution to this long-standing issue.

“We’ve got to make a better stance on this. One, I think there should be five judges,” he proposed. “Two, I think there should be up-to-the-year updating. Three, judges: don’t be fans of the sport, be students of the sport. That’s the problem with judging.

“When judges make mistakes, they get to (go) home with the same paycheck. Paul Felder lost $82,000 because of the judges. That’s a considerable income. Do I think he’s worth more? For sure, but at the end of day, that’s $82,000. That’s a lot of milk money.”

UFC 247 alone was riddled with judging controversies. Three fights on the card were questioned, including the main event fight between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes.