The handful of questionable decisions handed out by judges in Indianapolis at UFC 119 has been a popular point of discussion from media, fans, and even one of the involved fighters (Jeremy Stephens) since the show took place a week ago. One of Stephens’ PPV-peers is now joining him in stepping forward to voice concerns over the way his respective bout was scored – Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
The Brazilian light heavyweight recently spoke to Tatame about his hard-fought decision loss to still-undefeated Ultimate Fighter Season 8 champ Ryan Bader at the event, and during the conversation he made it clear he felt takedowns and passive top control are weighed far too heavily in the UFC when compared to fight-finishing techniques.
“(Bader) was good, has excellent coaches, (and) is tough, but I think I had more initiative (during) the fight – but he got two or three takedowns,” Nogueira explained. “When I went forward he took me down, but he didn’t do a thing on the floor. He was good at the beginning…tried to be objective…punched me like four times, hit some elbows…but then he just tried to hold me all fight long.”
“The way I see, I won the second and third rounds, and he won the first. When it comes to scoring who did more damage on the opponent, I think it was me,” he said of the result.
When it came to why he felt the judges had ultimately rendered their scorecards in favor of the two-time All-American wrestler, Nogueira responded, “UFC is different than PRIDE. They worship takedowns, but the guys don’t do much on the floor and don’t even try to submit or knock us out. What happened was that (Bader) kept trying to take me down and I wanted to keep the fight standing up to get the knockout.”
“The judges don’t get much about the ground game,” he continued. “If it’s not (very) strong Jiu-Jitsu they give it for who has more takedowns. I think they should give point for takedown defenses too. Once the guy defended a takedown he should get a point too; not only the takedown but its defense as well.”
However, in conclusion, Nogueira also made sure not to take too much away from Bader’s overall performance. “The fight was tied and it could have gone both ways,” he began. “(But) the guy is to be congratulated. He’s a young guy, proved himself to be good, (and) showed he can take people down…but I want to come back as soon as possible, try to win, and fight again to be among the ‘Top 5’.”