The difference between Georges St-Pierre winning at UFC 167 or Johny Hendricks being crowned champion came down to just one round and it happened to be the first.
The official scorecard for the UFC 167 main event was released to FOX Sports after the final horn sounded with the scores tallied as follows:
48-47 — St-Pierre by judge Sal D'Amato 48-47 — Hendricks by judge Glenn Trowbridge 48-47 — St-Pierre by judge Tony Weeks
All three judges scored the fight the same from round two to round fight. Rounds two and four went to Johny Hendricks while rounds three and five went to St-Pierre. The first round is where D'Amato and Weeks felt St-Pierre did enough to get the nod, while Trowbridge disagreed and gave the fight to Hendricks.
According to FightMetric stats the fight was razor close, including a very hotly contested first round, but their numbers show that Hendricks outlanded St-Pierre in total strikes 27-26, while St-Pierre landed 19 to 18 in significant strikes. Hendricks and St-Pierre both landed one takedown a piece during the round as well.
Obviously numbers don't tell the entire story, however, so exploring the scoring statistics of three major MMA websites (MMAJunkie.com, MMAWeekly.com and MMAMania.com) all had the first round going to Hendricks. The entire FOX Sports writing staff all scored Hendricks winning the first round as well.
So the question then becomes how did two cage side judges score the first round differently than numerous others scoring at home, live at the event and even by overall statistical numbers? UFC president Dana White believes it all comes down to poor judging that continues to happen courtesy of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The commission has come under fire a lot in the last few years for poor judging in several major boxing events as well including the bout between Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquaio as well as the recent fight between Floyd Mayweather and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
White also reported on Saturday that a recent fight that happened during the filming of the Ultimate Fighter season 19 was marred by bad judging and it's even starting to affect the way he's watching the fights while the show is taking place.
"It's almost getting to the point now where I'm sitting there, I'll be at the Ultimate Fighter, I'll be sitting there going I'm more curious at what the judges are going to instead of the fight," White said.
Poor judging has cost more than a few fighters a victory, but on Saturday night in Las Vegas it cost Johny Hendricks the UFC welterweight title in a fight the majority of the world seems to think he won. White is positive that unless major changes are made within the commission and the judges that they choose, that the problems will continue to persist.
"I absolutely expect it," White said. "It's just crazy."
The toughest part for Hendricks is according to media members and statistic keepers, he should be the UFC welterweight champion right now, but the vote of the many unfortunately doesn't outweigh the opinion of a few and those few were the two judges who saw round one in favor of Georges St-Pierre.