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Monday, June 13, 2011
A slew of bad calls defined UFC 131

By Josh Gross

The UFC fight train rolled through Vancouver on Saturday promising big things. With heavyweights who finish as well as Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin meeting in the main event, for once the hype surrounding a fight -- someone was going down, we were promised -- didn't come off as hyperbolic.

We should know, though, that nothing is guaranteed in mixed martial arts -- except, unfortunately, inadequate judging.

While officials handled the dos Santos-Carwin decision well enough, there were several moments throughout the night that made it seem as if the people charged with scoring bouts simply have no idea what they're doing. It's gotten to the point that fans are dreading decisions as much as fighters and promoters, and that's an awful set of circumstances for the UFC and MMA to contend with. Did Michihiro Omigawa deserve to lose against Darren Elkins? I don't think so. Neither does UFC president Dana White, who's treating the contest as if Omigawa earned the nod, going so far as to pay him his win bonus.

What exactly did Mark Munoz do to take the first round against Demian Maia? What more should dos Santos have done to Carwin to earn a 10-8 score in the opening period of their fight?

Judges were all over the place and deserve at best a C-minus.

But enough about them for now. Let's focus on the men who risked something in British Columbia. By establishing a new No. 1 contender in the UFC heavyweight division, to potentially doing the same at 145 pounds following Kenny Florian's debut at featherweight, UFC 131 offered quite a lot to dissect.

Josh Gross covers MMA for Follow him on Twitter at JoshGrossESPN.