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Juanito Ibarra To Protest Rampage/Griffin Decision

Rampage Jackson and Juanito Ibarra
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Forrest Griffin’s decision victory has caused quite the stir in the MMA community. Bloggers and journalists have been debating the how the judges scored the fight. Rampage fans have been all over message boards screaming bloody murder. However, no one is perhaps more upset about the decision than Quinton Jackson’s manager and trainer, Juanito Ibarra. In fact, Ibarra is so convinced his fighter won, he is going to protest the decision with the athletic commission.

Jackson’s coach, Juanito Ibarra, plans to protest the unanimous decision with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“We got robbed,” Ibarra told Sunday afternoon. “We won the majority of the fight.”

Judges Adalaide Byrd and Nelson Hamilton scored the bout 48-46 for Griffin, while Roy Silbert turned in a 49-46 tally for Griffin.

It’s extremely unlikely that a protest would change the outcome of the fight. Ibarra isn’t hopeful in that regard, but less than 24 hours after his fighter had lost in the UFC for the first time, the coach seemed determined to learn exactly how the fight was scored.

He was baffled that Byrd and Silbert gave Griffin a 10-9 advantage in the first round, during which Jackson dropped the challenger. In Ibarra’s view, the knockdown warranted a 10-8 round in Jackson’s favor. He believes Jackson won the third and fourth rounds on 10-9 scores, though he said Griffin deserved a 10-8 second round and a 10-9 fifth. That comes out to a 47-46 win for Jackson.

“You have to beat the champion,” Ibarra asserted more than once.

As the story states, it’s highly unlikely the decision will be overturned. If it was, the shit storm that would follow would be monumental to say the least. Ibarra does make some valid points though. I have no idea how the judges’ gave Forrest round one, although I don’t agree with Juanito that it was a 10-8 in favor of Jackson, which leads to one of hotter topics of debate stemming from the fight.

What the hell is a 10-8 round?!? Personally, I view a 10-8 round as one where one fighter inflicts serious damage throughout the duration of the round while taking none in return. I agree that Forrest dominantly won the second round, but outside of the first minute with the leg kicks, I didn’t see Forrest inflict any significant damage despite having full mount for half of the round. Some feel Forrest deserved a 10-8 because he dominated the round. Am I wrong? No. Are those who thought it was a 10-8 wrong? No. Is Juanito wrong about round one? No. No one is wrong or right because not only is it completely subjective, there’s also nothing in the rules that clearly defines what a 10-8 round is. So while the ABC was up in Canada adding 50 new weight classes, they should have been working on the scoring system.

Regardless of how badly the scoring system needs attention, Ibarra feels confident they will get an immediate rematch.

“I got it. I got it. I’m not waiting. Next fight,” said the coach, who explained that he approached UFC President Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta in the Octagon about making a rematch. “I asked for it, immediately, in the cage, and Forrest agreed. The rematch is going to go like I first thought. Forrest is going to try to do more, and next time he’s gonna get beat.”

What Ibarra didn’t say was that Lorenzo and Dana agreed to the immediate rematch, and from what Dana told Steve Cofield, it sounds more like they’re leaning more towards Liddell for the next title shot, in what could potentially be one of the top drawing UFC fights ever.

“I have a lot of options right now,” said a giggling White. “I like having a lot of options. I think a lot of people would want to see Chuck (Liddell) and Forrest, then see Rampage fight who wins.”

The UFC can’t lose with that scenario. Although, if Evans pulls out the win over Liddell at UFC 88, Juanito just might get his wish.

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