Few issues infuriate MMA followers greater than a struggle being scored incorrectly, although the time period “theft” tends to be thrown round carelessly and is commonly steeped in bias. With Theft Overview, we’ll have a look again at controversial fights and decide whether or not the judges had been rightly criticized for his or her choice or if pundits want to look at their very own knee-jerk reactions.

A few weeks again, we puzzled if Khabib Nurmagomedov’s unbeaten mark ought to have truly been blemished by his struggle with Gleison Tibau. This week, we put his rival Tony Ferguson’s prolonged successful streak below the microscope forward of Ferguson’s upcoming interim light-weight title struggle with Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.

Again at UFC 177 on Aug. 30, 2014, Ferguson was within the early levels of his 12-fight unbeaten run when he bumped into the gritty Danny Castillo. “El Cucuy” had his hand raised ultimately, however the Sacramento crowd—already soundly behind native favourite Castillo—instantly referred to as foul and showered Ferguson with boos.

Castillo believed he managed the struggle and stated in his post-fight interview that “If we had been in jail, he’d be in bother.”

Did Castillo truly derail the Ferguson hype prepare earlier than it acquired going? Let’s go to the tape.

What was the official end result?

Tony Ferguson def. Danny Castillo by way of cut up choice.

How did the struggle go?

There wasn’t a lot controversy concerning the primary and third rounds.

Spherical one noticed Ferguson combating with the type that everyone knows and love, simply advancing and scoring and making Castillo miss. It’s the number of Ferguson’s assault that’s spectacular right here as he chipped away at Castillo with kicks to the legs and physique to arrange straight punches. Castillo responded with winging energy punches, however most of them had been blocked. It’s Castillo’s counter sport that yielded some success.

Within the grappling division, Ferguson took the early benefit with a D’Arce choke off of a takedown counter. He willingly fights off of his again, which proves to be a operating theme all through this encounter.

In spherical two, Ferguson’s hanging opened up additional as continued to stifle Castillo’s wrestling, permitting him to load up with a head kick and a leaping knee that had Castillo retreating. Midway by the second spherical is the place the motion fully shifted as Ferguson tried to counter a again take with a ahead roll, solely to finish up with Castillo on prime of him.

Castillo was relentless in hanging onto the slippery Ferguson and he spent the remainder of the spherical holding Ferguson down. Even when Ferguson briefly kicked off of the cage and scrambled into mount, Castillo refused to just accept that place and regained management. Inside Ferguson’s guard, he barely threw any punches although.

Castillo correctly shot in to start out spherical three, decided to get it again to the mat the place he’d been capable of neutralize Ferguson for probably the most half. He was additionally nonetheless throwing out heavy proper arms. Wild as ever, Ferguson rolled for a knee bar and Castillo took benefit by snagging a leg and dropping all the way down to wrestle. Nearly all of the spherical noticed Castillo in management, specializing in avoiding Ferguson’s strikes and submissions from backside. He scooped Ferguson up for a semi-slam, however exterior of that, there wasn’t a variety of influence to his offense within the ultimate spherical.

An arm-triangle submission try by Castillo closed issues out and he appeared glad with having outwrestled Ferguson.

What did the judges say?

Michael Bell scored it 29-28 Ferguson.

Derek Cleary scored it 29-28 Ferguson.

Larry Landless scored it 29-28 Castillo.

As you’d anticipate, spherical two was the decider as rounds one and three had been scored the identical by all three judges. Landless scored spherical two and the struggle for Castillo.

What did the numbers say?

(Statistics per UFC Stats)

Scoring simply vital strikes, Ferguson and Castillo are tangled up at 23 apiece. Not useful, numbers!

By way of whole strikes, Ferguson is means forward by a margin of 71-30, which might be defined each by Ferguson’s sheer quantity and in addition his assaults from backside place. When you’re like Landless and noticed this struggle for Castillo, these strikes could be thought of negligible, in order that 41 whole strikes differential isn’t as dangerous because it seems.

Ferguson formally accomplished two profitable takedowns, each within the third spherical, so him reaching prime place in rounds one and two was attributed to Ferguson pulling guard or Castillo pouncing on Ferguson throughout submission makes an attempt. High management time just isn’t logged, however it might primarily be a shutout for Castillo in that class.

What’s damning for Castillo is that even within the spherical all three judges thought he received, the third, he was credited with ZERO vital strikes landed and simply 4 whole. He wasn’t throwing a lot on the bottom and no matter he did apparently didn’t register as significantly efficient. That’s in distinction to rounds one and two through which Castillo battled Ferguson to a close to standstill in vital strikes (R1: 11-11, R2: 12-10 Castillo). Ferguson was credited with two vital strikes and 18 whole in spherical three.

On the ft, it does appear to be Castillo was going for the end, no less than early on. All 23 of his vital strikes landed on Ferguson’s head, whereas Ferguson unfold out his assaults with 10 to the top, three to the physique, and 10 to the legs.

What did the media say?

(Information derived from MMA Selections)

Of the retailers tallied by MMA Selections, 10 scored it for Ferguson, six for Castillo, and one noticed it as a 29-29 draw. The decisive scores had been 29-28 in both path aside from Bloody Elbow, who gave all three rounds to Ferguson.

What did the individuals say?

Viewers at house didn’t share the outrage of these in attendance.

Fifty-two p.c of voters on MMA Selections agreed with the 29-28 Ferguson name, with one other 6.9 p.c going 30-27 Ferguson. There was a contingent of Castillo supporters although as a 29-28 rating garnered 32 p.c of the vote.

Relating to the divisive second spherical, 58.three p.c noticed it in Ferguson’s favor.

How did I rating it?

Let’s simply say it’s factor I’m not planning to go to Sacramento anytime quickly (although wouldn’t it’s bizarre if I did they usually had been nonetheless mad about this choice?).

As a lot as I respect how exhausting it’s to regulate a raging bull like Ferguson, there have been simply so many lengthy stretches of this struggle the place Castillo didn’t make any seen try to complete. Oddly, he stated afterwards that he felt he was always pursuing the end and whereas which will have been the case when the 2 had been standing and buying and selling, it couldn’t be farther from the reality on the bottom.

Ferguson was way more lively from the underside and even within the third spherical it may very well be argued that he was initiating the motion simply as a lot as Castillo was. I can’t blame Castillo for considering he was in management right here, however for observers the optics of him holding on and doing little else are simply dangerous. It’s 29-28 Ferguson for me.

Was it a theft?

That relies upon. How a lot do you worth uneventful prime management?

That will sound harsh given how lethal Ferguson might be, however Castillo actually wanted to point out the judges extra right here. Ferguson’s aggression and different arsenal shined at a look, whereas Castillo’s offense required a extra eager eye to understand and even then that’s provided that you like management over efficient hanging.

What’s ironic is that statistically Castillo wasn’t doing badly no less than so far as vital strikes goes. He may very well have been higher served letting his arms free and turning this one right into a dogfight. As an alternative, he went with what labored for him so many instances previously and was left empty-handed.

The ultimate verdict

Not a theft.


Was Tony Ferguson’s win over Danny Castillo a theft?

  • 13%


    (41 votes)

  • 86%


    (263 votes)

304 votes whole

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