If lightening happens to strike twice Saturday and the judges render another ridiculously unpopular decision in the Lyoto Machida vs. Shogun Rua rematch, at least we won’t have the same panel of judges to blame. Out of the three judges who scored their first meeting in favor of Machida — “Doc” Nelson Hamilton, Marcos Rosales and Cecil “Leg kicks don’t finish fights” Peoples — only Hamilton, who later admitted he made a mistake giving the fight to Machida, will be making the trip to Montreal to work UFC 113. While it’s possible Hamilton could be assigned to the rematch, he won’t be if the Quebec commission has any common sense. According to SI.com’s Josh Gross, there’s plenty of other judges working the card to fill the three spots needed for the main event.
Of the three officials who scored the original bout, only Hamilton has the possibility to work it again in Montreal. The veteran judge is among the three officials brought in by the UFC to work the card, a representative of the Quebec Athletic Commission told SI.com. Joining Hamilton, are Tony Weeks and Sal D’Amato.
It’s expected that two of the three will be assigned to the rematch when the commissioner and head of officials for the QAC make that determination following Friday’s weigh-in. The third judge will come from a trio of local officials licensed by the presiding regulatory body: Pasquale Procopio, Claude Paquette or David Therien.
The likeliest group seems to be Lavigne as the in-ring official, with Weeks, D’Amato, and Paquette manning the judging assignments. Since Hamilton was part of the crew that scored the original fight, it would make some sense for him to sit this one out.
Still, even if an entirely different set of judges works the main event, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hold your breath if the fight goes the distance. Just because Rosales, Peoples and (probably) Hamilton won’t be there to screw up the score, doesn’t mean the other judges can’t. As Josh Gross details in his report, Claude Paquette is a boxing judge, David Therien doesn’t have much high-profile fight experience and Pasquale Procopio has rendered a controversial decision in the past. Tony Weeks and Sal D’Amato don’t have the unenviable reputation of a Cecil Peoples or Doug Crosby, but they aren’t immune from making errors in judgment. Couple that with the 10-point must system and any decision has the potential to be awarded to the loser. In other words, let’s hope Machida or Shogun finish the fight in decisive fashion. You never know what surprises might come from the scorecards.
Image via Sherdog
Update: Josh Gross confirms Tony Weeks, Sal D’Amato and Pasquale Procopio will judge the rematch. Yves Lavigne will ref.