Edson Barboza’s decision to appeal the result of his co-main event bout with Paul Felder at UFC 242 isn’t sitting well with the winner.
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Felder exacted his revenge over the man who handed him his first professional loss with a split decision win that saw three different scores from the judges. Howie Booth scored the contest 30-27 in favor of Barboza, and judges David Lethaby and Maria Makhmutova each scored the bout for Felder by scores of 29-28 and 30-27 respectively.
Barboza took to Instagram to voice his displeasure with the result.
“After this Saturday, everyone knows that I won that fight! I have watched it again and I was the winner without no doubt, but unfortunately they gave the result to my opponent,” Barboza wrote. “Nothing against my opponent, he went there and did his job, but everyone knows that I won that fight.”
Felder made his thoughts on the decision known on The Luke Thomas Show on Sirius XM Fight Nation.
“The other real thing that I think is unfortunate about the whole situation is I have some love for Edson,” Felder said. “I really have shared the battlefield with this guy now, and now I feel like I don’t know if it’s gonna be like that now. Because even though they say, ‘Oh, we’ve got nothing but love for them,’ it’s like no, you’re kind of just spitting in my face a little bit being like, ‘You didn’t deserve that win. It’s so obvious that you didn’t deserve that win,’ apparently that they think that they can have it reversed.”
The general consensus from MMA media members was that the first round clearly favored Barboza, while the third favored Felder. The second round, which two out of three judges scored for Felder, was open for debate. According to MMADecisions.com, 13 media members scored the fight 29-28 for Barboza, while three gave it to Felder by the same score.
“For people to be coming at me and being like, ‘Yeah, it’s absolute highway robbery,’ I’m like ‘Was I in a different fight? Was I just getting pounded into the canvas that I was not aware of?’” Felder said.
UFC 242 was regulated by the UFC due to a lack of an athletic commission in Abu Dhabi, which further complicates the appeal process for Barboza.
Felder again addressed the controversy in an Instagram post of his own on Wednesday, justifying his viewpoint on the judges’ decision.
“I walked him down the entire fight, I threw at him the entire fight, I never stalled the entire fight, if he landed, I landed… the entire fight,” Felder wrote. “When he took me down, he took the damage… the entire fight.
“I never gassed or slowed my pace the entire fight. I got cut due to a head butt, Edson got cut due to strikes. Both of us put our bodies through so much during that fight that whoever came out with the loss would understandably be upset but the numbers don’t lie.”
“The Irish Dragon” also offered a potential solution to the debate.
“If we need to run it back I would be happy to, but this trilogy needs to be 5 rounds because someone was about to break and that someone was not me,” Felder wrote. “If the fans and Edson need a clear ending to this then it’s main event or bust.”
Shane Connelly is a journalism student at Penn State with a passion for sharing the stories of MMA fighters.