Commission stands behind judges

Updated: November 21, 2013, 12:44 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- The Nevada State Athletic Commission says it stands behind the scores its judges rendered at the UFC welterweight title fight between Georges St. Pierre and Johny Hendricks this past weekend at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

St. Pierre (25-2) defended his 170-pound title via split decision at UFC 167 on Saturday. Judges Sal D'Amato and Tony Weeks each scored the contest 48-47 for St. Pierre, while Glenn Trowbridge scored it 48-37 in favor of Hendricks.

The scores were an immediate source of controversy. UFC president Dana White, who scored the bout for Hendricks, referred to the NSAC as the "weakest [commission] in the country," and expressed a reluctance to promote future fights within the state.

NSAC chairman Francisco V. Aguilar told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he supports the judges' performance. He also said he has been in discussions with White since the event.

"Of course [I stand behind the judges]," Aguilar said. "I think everybody who looks at that fight -- opinions go both ways. If it was unanimous one way or the other, I would be concerned.

"I don't want to comment on [White's] comments at this point in time. We are in discussion with him. We understand the situation, he understands the situation and we are working through it."

The NSAC has overseen two high-profile boxing controversies in the past two years. In June 2012, Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao for a world welterweight title via a highly controversial split decision.

In September, longtime judge C.J. Ross resigned from the NSAC after scoring a light middleweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Saul Alvarez a draw. Mayweather won the fight by majority decision.

Aguilar said the commission is in constant search of methods to improve the quality of its officials, including judges and referees. He indicated that might include expanding the current pool of officials the NSAC uses.

"We, as a commission, have an obligation to ensure that the people who are judging or refereeing the fight are on top of their game," Aguilar said. "We need to be there to provide tools and training to ensure they are delivering their best performance."

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