Saturday’s UFC title bout between Alexander Gustafsson and Jon Jones is already being considered one of, if not the best light heavyweight title fight of all time. Ultimately, Jones had his hand raised, but unfortunately this bout could not end without controversy.
There is a large divide in the mixed martial arts community between who did enough to earn the win. Strangely enough, Gustafsson’s trainer and corner man Eric Del Fierro was not originally one of the people screaming robbery. It was not until Fierro watched the fight again at home, that he decided that Alex should have been declared the winner.
Del Fierro was recently on the Sherdog.com’s Beatdown Show, where he stated:
“When I was there, I scored it, I think, the way it came through: 3-2 for Jones. I had Jones winning the fifth round. It was such a grinding fight. When I was there, I even scored round two in Alex’s favor. It was weird. The way it ended, I saw it going 3-2 to Jones. I just thought he’d finished strong, and to be the champ, you’ve got to take that fifth round. That’s one of the most important rounds of that whole fight.”
When Del Fierro watched the fight at home with the benefit of different camera angles, however, he said he leaned towards Gustafsson:
“Don’t get me wrong, I’ll tell you what I saw in the corner is, I always err on the side of caution. Obviously we’re fighting the greatest of all time. We’re fighting the champion and we need to decisively own those rounds. At the fight, that fifth round, I felt, killed us. But when I went back and watched it on video, I can see the argument for Alex winning 3-2 because on video, I have Alex winning 3-2. But when I was there, I definitely thought that fifth round cost us and I thought that was the deciding factor.”
Though he does not seem dead set on his opinion. Either way, it is interesting that even Gustafsson’s own trainer is having trouble picking a winner in this fight. This just goes to show the possibility of a bias opinion being a factor for many peoples’ decisions on the fight. Hopefully we can move past the controversy as a community, and simply remember this as a fight for the ages.