UFC 208 made history at Barclays, but for the wrong reasons
by Bryan Fonseca
Feb 14, 2017 | 8670 views | 0 0 comments | 526 526 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Holly Holm discusses the controversy surrounding her bout.
Holly Holm discusses the controversy surrounding her bout.
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For the second time in four weeks, a huge name promoter left the Barclays Center pissed off.

Last month, Floyd Mayweather vacated New York City displeased with his main event between Super Middleweight Champions Badou Jack and James DeGale, which ended in a draw that aired live on Showtime. This past Saturday wasn’t much different.

Unlike Mayweather, Dana White didn’t talk for an hour or so. He didn’t even offer availability at the post-fight press conference, but can you blame him?

Instead, White offered a few minutes, recapping fight night on the UFC YouTube account, a night which ended with back-to-back controversial decisions and had just one stoppage in ten fights.

The judges literally stole the show.

The arguable “greatest of all time” Anderson “Spider” Silva (34-7) debatably outpointed an emerging Derek Brunson (16-5) by an eyebrow-raising unanimous decision

And in the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Title fight, Holly Holm (10-3) lost to Germaine de Randamie (7-3), also a questionable resolution.

White felt that Brunson defeated Silva, and discussed both decisions post-fight.

“I feel like the ref from New York shouldn’t be scoring a main event fight, he doesn’t have enough experience, but again we don’t make those decisions, the commission does,” a vexed White said shortly after. “

It was a bad decision by them, and if that guy takes a point for hitting after the bell it’s a draw…the only possible way this night could be any s**ttier,” he delivered with a smile.

“Everybody was blowing me up on the phone, ‘what’s wrong with this ref?’” he continued. “What’s wrong with this ref is he doesn’t have big fight experience. None of these guys do in this state yet, and they should’ve had one of the experienced MMA ref’s ref-fing that main event.”

White was then asked if he was satisfied with the main event, to which he responded bluntly “no,” followed by a smirk.

“We’ve got the next few events planned, just got a lot of work to do forgetting tonight,” he later added.

De Randamie was rushed to the hospital upon the night’s conclusion, but Holm was available to take the podium, and spoke to the press for about ten minutes to close out the night.

“She started a little strong, but I feel like I got the better of the last three rounds,” said the battle-tested former UFC Bantamweight champ. “I know what my capabilities are. I didn’t do as much damage as I wanted to do.

The fight could’ve gone either way,” she added. “I felt like I had three rounds, but I also rocked her twice and didn’t capitalize on it and that’s my own fault.”

The aforementioned hitting after the bell occurred multiple times during the fight, which Holm also touched on at the presser.

“A lot of times on the first one they’ll give a warning,” she said of de Randamie’s late hits. “That’s normal, I wouldn’t expect them to take a point after the first one, even though it was intentional.

“Then the second time you’d think at that point they’ll do something, but I’m one of those people that feels like I should not have let her done that anyway,” Holm continued. “It wasn’t like the last punch of a combination, it was intentional, it was after the bell. Some of her best shots of the night were after the bell, I don’t know how the judges saw that.

“If they see that as points for her than what can you do?” she concluded.

UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden spoiled us. UFC 208 in Barclays Center? Not so much.

Especially when taking into account a booing audience throughout the night.

Although with a sold-out attendance of 15,628 and a gate of $2,275,105,208, it stands as the highest-grossing sporting event in Barclays Center history, so there’s that.
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