UFC apologizes for judge removal

August 26, 2014

MMA Junkie reports that the UFC has issued an apology for the removal of a judge at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau.  The statement apologized to judge Howard Hughes “for calling his professional judgment into question.”

White removed Hughes after the first two fights on Saturday’s card after he believed that Hughes was a factor in the decisions for which White did not agree.  The UFC has now issued a “mea culpa” by stating it should not have done it.

Via MMA Junkie:

After an internal review, the UFC organization announced today that a breach of its independent regulatory protocol occurred on Saturday night during UFC FIGHT NIGHT MACAO.

After the second fight of the night, UFC President Dana White requested that Howard Hughes, one of the event’s five assigned judges, be removed from working any further bouts. Pursuant to UFC’s protocol, neither White nor any other UFC executive possesses such authority. Nevertheless, protocol was breached and Hughes did not work further bouts on Saturday night.

The UFC organization has always been in support of government regulation and oversight. Additionally, the UFC has established a protocol when required to self-regulate events due to the lack of an official athletic commission, federation or other regulatory body. In those instances where UFC holds events in locations without a regulatory body, the UFC’s protocol dictates that the organization’s internal regulators will handle all commission functions independently and without interference by company executives or employees.

The UFC remains committed to maintaining the strictest regulatory environment for competition and vows that no similar breach of protocol will happen again.

Both White and the UFC apologize to Mr. Hughes for calling his professional judgment into question. Hughes has judged more than 25 UFC fight cards and the UFC looks forward to him working on its events again in the future.

Payout Perspective:

As we indicated, there could have been several interpretations of White’s actions.  While we may think it proactive, it also posed a problem with an appearance of impartiality and fairness.  In a sport where gambling is prevalent (one might argue encouraged), there needs to be an independent authority appointing judges, etc.  This is a problem with international shows that do not have commissions.

The statement also attempts to repair Hughes’ reputation as a judge.  While the guy may have had a bad night in judging, having him removed could destroy any future judging opportunities for Hughes.  It was a good move by the UFC to make this statement.

7 Responses to “UFC apologizes for judge removal”

  1. BrainSmasher on August 26th, 2014 11:13 AM

    I had not problem with what White did. Yes it not good for someone to be able to manipulate the judges for the possibility of corruption. But based on the fights the judged messed up it was warranted. Keep in mind the UFC hand picked these judges. So in theory if they wanted to be corrupt they would put judges in that follow their agenda. They wouldn’t have to pull anyone mid event. So there is no reason to be against judges they appointed. Also since the UFC picked the judged that makes them responsible for their actions. If this judge causes 7 split decisions. Then the controversy would over shadow the event and the UFC could not put the blame on any commission. White was prevent a black out for the UFC and the sport in a new country for mma.

  2. Logical on August 26th, 2014 11:55 AM

    Even though the UFC has issued an “apology”, everybody knows all the unwritten rules of International shows; don’t piss off the promotion, be self-aware in how they would like you to score the fights without actually talking about it, understand which fighters better serve the company, don’t steer away from what they expect you to do, or they’ll never hire you again.

    What I like about what happened in Macau is that the UFC just stopped pretending, removed all doubt and made it blatantly obvious about what was really going on with their so called ‘self-regulatory-protocol’. (There has been some telling interviews & little quotes here and there with certain referees & judges where they basically call White their boss & how it is best to please the promotion LOL).

  3. saldathief on August 26th, 2014 2:17 PM

    Bad judges should be executed on the spot! Good for Dana he should have slapped him around too!

  4. D on August 26th, 2014 7:06 PM

    Sal, when you have an orthopedic pillow, you can’t act like a tough guy.

  5. BrainSmasher on August 27th, 2014 1:49 AM


    That was an epic pile of bull crap. Sounds like something Tops would say. The UFC doesn’t have to rig decisions and control judges. First it isn’t hard to set up matches and promote whoever wins. Second they are the match makers. They can pick who wins lots of times by giving them favorable style match ups. I myself have always been good at breaking down fights and knowing who would win. Sports books do a great job also. I would expect the UFC with more inside info would be better at knowing who was going to win more often than anyone else. Especially a long time student of the game like Joe Silva. To even think they would have to rig decisions is stupid and shows a lack of understanding of the sport. Favorites win 70% of the time. 2 to 1 favorites are probably like 80-85%. The UFC isn’t stupid they know who the favorites are going in.

  6. tops E on August 28th, 2014 5:15 AM

    Wow dw can fix fights hahahaha….

  7. D on August 28th, 2014 10:25 AM

    tops likes dudes

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