Cecil Peoples is sick and tired off all the hate and mockery that’s been thrown his way over the years. He has a reputation as a judge who often scores the fight for the loser, and it seems all the public outcry over his most recent decision has pushed him to the breaking point. As far as he’s concerned, if you don’t like how he judges fights, “you can go to hell.” Yeah, he said that.
“So you in a bar with 200 people that are sloppy drunk, and you’re gonna argue with me about the decision?” he asked. “How does that work? Only in America. I give the fight to Machida in a very, very close fight. Now you’re pissed off because it’s my fault that you lost your money. No, it’s not. It’s Machida’s fault.”
For those who think he should find another profession, he has one thing to say.
“If you don’t like it, you can go to hell.”
Nice, Cecil. We love you too.
Despite the overwhelming sentiment that Shogun Rua defeated Lyoto Machida last Saturday night, Peoples is not backing down from his decision. He still believes he scored the fight correctly, especially in the first round.
“I don’t back down because it’s not popular.”
“My thing is, Rua did hit him more,” said Peoples. “But Machida hit him harder, especially in the early rounds.”
“I’m really perplexed about how you give (Rua) [the first] round, because Shogun was kicking (Machida) a lot in the legs, but every time he kicked him in the legs, he got hit in the face,” he said. “Shogun would put his hand up, and Machida would go right through, sweat’s flying off (Rua’s) face. Shogun kicked (Machida) in the belly – that’s how he got the red mark.
“But you gotta remember, Machida is stepping back, so when he gets kicked, he’s getting brushed. But he counters Shogun with a hard kick to the belly. Which one counts more for the exchange? I give it to the (second one), because it was harder. It wasn’t brushed.”
“Machida was controlling that round because he was dominant in not getting beat up in that round,” he said. “He was the general in that first round.”
I don’t want to beat a dead horse here and rehash everything, but I will say this, Machida did not hit Shogun in the face every time he got kicked in the leg. In fact, according to the numbers, Shogun connected with 15 leg kicks in the first round while Machida only landed one strike to the head. I’ll concede the first round was close, but for reasons other than Peoples describes above.
Bottom line is the judging in MMA needs a major overhaul from the judges to arguably the way it’s scored. We need competent individuals who understand what they’re watching along with guidelines that clearly define how the fight should be scored. Everyone likes to say don’t leave it to the judges. Given how things are now that’s the only way to ensure a fair outcome, but that doesn’t mean the fighters, fans, promoters etc. shouldn’t demand an effort be made to fix the problems. Not every fight is going to end in a knockout or submission, sometimes two fighters go at it for 3-5 rounds and they’re both still standing at the end. The true winners of such fights deserve the “W” just as much as the guys who finished it.
Update: In an interview with Gazeta Do Pova, Shogun was asked to respond to Cecil Peoples’ comments.
“You just have to look at my face and his (Lyoto). I didn’t suffer one kick, only some knees but he has a rib broken neither get to walk and his mouth is stitched. They made some fighting analysis and I landed the double of hits. Will the judges say they didn’t see that? They will speak anything to justify the result. I feel pissed for my score (18-4), I prize a lot for it and I don’t consider this loss. I didn’t meet Lyoto after the fight but he’s a man I respect so much. He’s blameless, it’s judges’ culprit. Only them say the fight that way. I don’t blame Machida at all.”
Translation via MMA Mania