Scouring the scoring: Round 1 of Virna Jandiroba vs. Kanako Murata
Virna Jandiroba faced Kanako Murata at UFC Vegas 29 | Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
One judge had Murata winning Rd 1 at UFC Vegas 29. Does that score check out?
The judges were not needed for the strawweight bout between Virna Jandiroba and Kanako Murata. The bout, which took place on the prelims of UFC Vegas 29, ended at the close of the second round. The doctor waved off the fight after Jandiroba injured Murata’s arm earlier in the fight.
Despite the TKO win, the judges handed in their scorecards for the bout and the UFC published those scorecards. Two judges scored the first round for Jandiroba and one scored it for Murata. The judge who scored the first stanza for Murata, Adalaide Byrd, faced some heat on social media upon the publication of the scorecards.
After watching the first round of the bout, I can’t see any way Murata won the round according to the scoring criteria in the Unified Rules of MMA.
My feeling on scorecards that seem out of line with the other two judges is that the athletic commission, in this case the Nevada State Athletic Commission, should sit down with the judge and go over their scoring. If the judge can’t explain the reason for a certain score to the satisfaction of the commission, that judge should, at the very least, receive some additional training.
I believe we all want the judging in MMA to improve. To do that, I think the judges need to be held accountable. A first step toward accountability would be for the judges to explain their decisions.
For a full breakdown of the scoring and moments of effective striking and grappling in the first round of Virna Jandiroba vs Kanaki Murata watch the below video:
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UFC Vegas 29 took place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The entire card streamed on ESPN+ and was broadcast on ESPN2.