At almost the very instant that Bruce Buffer announced Phil Davis' 29-28 unanimous-decision victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 163, a cacophony of overwhelming boos erupted from the audience in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In fact, both winner and loser struggled to make it through their respective post-fight interviews as the uproar grew louder and louder.
Were the fans in attendance—not to mention the MMA media and fighters elsewhere—justified for being so outraged?
Take a look at the official scorecard procured shortly after the fight came to a close:
Well, if the calculated analysis offered by FightMetric carries any respectable weight, the controversy was justified—according to its statistical analysis, Machida should have walked away with a 30-27 victory over Davis.
Let's briefly examine what took place on a round-by-round basis.
Key takeaways for Davis: more total strikes, more strikes to the body, two attempted takedowns and one successful takedown.
Key takeaways for Machida: more significant strikes, more strikes to the head and a definitive salvo of strikes that dropped Davis to his knee.
FightMetric total effectiveness score: Davis with 20, Machida with 34.
Key takeaways for Davis: more significant strikes, more total strikes, more strikes to the body, more strikes to the legs, four attempted takedowns and one successful takedown.
Key takeaways for Machida: more strikes to the head.
FightMetric total effectiveness score: Davis with 26, Machida with 41.
Key takeaways for Davis: more strikes to the legs and four attempted takedowns with none successfully landing.
Key takeaways for Machida: more significant strikes, more total strikes, more strikes to the head and more strikes to the body.
FightMetric total effectiveness score: Davis with 2, Machida with 32.
The judges at UFC 163 unanimously declared Davis to be a 29-28 winner in his efforts against Machida.
Perhaps they were heavily influenced by the two successful takedowns, or perhaps they were indifferent to Machida's dominant use of the center of the Octagon to maintain cage control. According FightMetric, Davis landed more total strikes (29 vs. 27) but failed to land as many that proved to be significant (21 vs. 27).
Machida was clearly traumatized by how the decision unfolded—he lamented that "he didn't know what they were judging." Davis used the post-fight press conference to reveal an even-keel, though certainly indecisive, outlook on the fight:
Fighting is an emotional thing. If I had lost this fight, I would be like, "I didn't lose that fight, and they know it." That's how it is. You put all you have into it. So everyone who was a Lyoto fan, I understand where you're coming from. It's an emotional thing. You're cheering for your guy. He's a Brazilian. I can imagine how that feels...I know how this works. Anytime it goes to the judges, you forfeit your right to be upset. You've just got to give it to the judges, and whatever they say is what they say.
Perhaps there's much to be garnered from Davis' critique—MMA fans seem to have decisively sided with FightMetric's breakdown but, when all is said and done, the judges determine who walks away with another digit in the win column.
*All statistics courtesy of FightMetric
Artem Moshkovich is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter for MMA news and more.
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