Few things exasperate MMA fans more than an ill-defined fight, although the term “theft” tends to be casually cast and is often imbued with bias. With Robbery Review, we will return to the controversial battles and determine whether the judges were rightly criticized for their decision or whether the experts should examine their own instinctive reactions.
A few weeks ago, we asked ourselves if Khabib NurmagomedovThe undefeated mark should in fact have been tainted by its fight with Gleison Tibau. This week we put his rival Tony FergusonThe long winning streak under the microscope before Ferguson’s next interim title battle with Justin Gaethje at UFC 249.
Back to UFC 177 August 30, 2014 Ferguson was in the early stages of his unbeaten 12-fight race when he fell on the gravel Danny Castillo. “El Cucuy” had his hand up at the end, but the crowd from Sacramento – already solidly behind local favorite Castillo – immediately called the blame and flooded Ferguson with hoots.
Castillo believed he was in control and said in his post-fight interview that “If we were in prison, he would be in trouble. “
Did Castillo really derail Ferguson’s hype train before it started? Let’s go to the tape.
What was the official result?
Tony Ferguson beat. Danny Castillo via shared decision.
How did the fight go?
There was not much controversy regarding the first and third rounds.
In the first round, Ferguson fought with the style we all know and love, advancing, scoring and missing Castillo. It’s the variety of Ferguson’s attack that is impressive here, when he attacked Castillo with legs and body kicks to create straight punches. Castillo responded with wing power punches, but most of them were stranded. It was Castillo’s counter-play that won some success.
In the wrestling department, Ferguson took the advantage early on with an Arce throttle on a withdrawal counter. He willingly fights with his back, which turns out to be a common theme throughout this meeting.
In the second round, Ferguson’s strike still opened and continued to stifle Castillo’s fight, allowing him to take charge of a whim and a jumping knee that made Castillo beat a retreat. Halfway through the second lap, the action completely changed when Ferguson tried to counter a rear grip with a front roll, only to finish with Castillo on top of him.
Castillo was relentless in clinging to the slippery Ferguson and spent the rest of the round maintaining Ferguson. Even when Ferguson briefly threw the cage and rushed into the mount, Castillo refused to accept this position and regained control. Inside Ferguson’s guard, he barely punched.
Castillo wisely intercepted to start the third round, determined to bring him back to the mat where he had been able to neutralize Ferguson for the most part. He also threw heavy right hands. Wild like never before, Ferguson rolled for a knee bar and Castillo took advantage of it by hanging on to one leg and falling to fight. The majority of the lap saw Castillo in control, focusing on avoiding Ferguson’s strikes and submissions from below. He picked up Ferguson for a semi-slam, but other than that, there wasn’t much impact on his attack in the final round.
Castillo’s attempt at an arm triangle submission closed the deal and he seemed pleased to have beaten Ferguson.
What did the judges say?
Michael Bell scored 29-28 Ferguson.
Derek Cleary scored 29-28 Ferguson.
Larry Landless scored 29-28 Castillo.
As you can imagine, the second round was decisive because the first and third rounds were scored in the same way by the three judges. Landless scored the second round and the fight for Castillo.
What do the numbers say?
(Statistics by UFC statistics)
Scoring only significant strikes, Ferguson and Castillo are tied at 23 each. Not useful, the numbers!
In terms of total strikes, Ferguson is 71-30 ahead, which can be explained both by Ferguson’s volume and his attacks from the lowest position. If you’re like Landless and have seen this fight for Castillo, these strikes can be considered negligible, so the total differential of 41 strikes is not as bad as it seems.
Ferguson officially completed two successful withdrawals, both in the third round, so that he reached first place in rounds one and two was awarded to guarding Ferguson or Castillo jumping on Ferguson in bid attempts. The maximum control time is not recorded, but it would essentially be a shutout for Castillo in this category.
What is overwhelming for Castillo is that even in the round, the three judges thought he had won, the third, he was credited with ZERO significant strikes landed and only four in total. He didn’t throw much on the ground and whatever he did, he didn’t seem particularly efficient. This contrasts with rounds one and two in which Castillo struggled against Ferguson until a near stop in major strikes (R1: 11-11, R2: 12-10 Castillo). Ferguson was credited with two important strikes and 18 in the third round.
On the feet, it looks like Castillo was aiming for the finish, at least at the start. His 23 major strikes landed on Ferguson’s head, while Ferguson extended his attacks with 10 to the head, three to the body and 10 to the legs.
What did the media say?
(Data derived from MMA decisions)
Of the outlets recorded by MMA Decisions, 10 scored for Ferguson, six for Castillo and one saw it as a 29-29 draw. The deciding scores were 29-28 back and forth with the exception of Bloody Elbow, who gave Ferguson three laps.
What did people say?
Home viewers did not share the indignation of those present.
Fifty-two percent of voters in MMA decisions agreed with the 29-28 Ferguson appeal, with another 6.9% ranging from 30-27 Ferguson. There was a contingent of Castillo supporters, as a score of 29-28 garnered 32% of the vote.
In the second round, 58.3% saw it in favor of Ferguson.
How did I mark it?
Let’s just say it’s a good thing I don’t plan on going to Sacramento anytime soon (but wouldn’t it be weird if I did and they were still crazy about this decision?).
As much as I respect how difficult it is to control a furious bull like Ferguson, there have been so many long periods in this fight where Castillo has made no visible attempt to finish. Curiously, he later stated that he felt like he was constantly chasing the finish and even if it could be when the two were standing and exchanging, it couldn’t be further from the truth on the ground .
Ferguson was much more active at the bottom and even on the third lap it could be said that he started the action just like Castillo. I can’t blame Castillo for thinking that he was in control here, but for observers, the optics of him hanging on and doing nothing else is just bad. It’s 29-28 Ferguson for me.
Is this theft?
It depends. How much do you enjoy superior control without incident?
It may sound harsh given Ferguson’s gravity, but Castillo really needed to show more to the judges here. Ferguson’s assault and his varied arsenal shone at a glance, while Castillo’s attack required a closer look to appreciate it and even if only if you favor control over a strike effective.
The ironic thing is that statistically Castillo didn’t hurt at least when it came to major strikes. It might have been better to let go of your hands and turn it into aerial combat. Instead, he went with what worked so many times in the past and was left empty handed.
The final verdict
Was Tony Ferguson’s victory over Danny Castillo theft?
110 votes in total