by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
There is no doubt that judging has come under tremendous fire in the world of mixed martial arts because of what is perceived as an unbalanced look at how scoring should be given in regards to a fight. Decisions like Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill and Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua have put judging on everybody’s radar about what’s fair and just.
One fighter who has tasted the sting of questionable judging in the past is WEC featherweight contender, Raphael Assuncao, who faces Urjiah Faber in his hometown of Sacramento this Sunday night.
The Brazilian has faced hometown adversity before as he dropped a decision to Jeff Curran in his only professional loss in a fight most felt he won, but Assuncao says he isn’t concerned about fighting Faber in his hometown. It is something, however, he believes needs to be addressed for the sport to grow.
“I actually didn’t have the worry, right when I first accepted, but of course as time goes by and you start to train and people are like be careful,” Assuncao told MMAWeekly.com. “Because people tell be careful with the decision, you’re going to go to Sacramento.”
Assuncao believes it’s ultimately up to the people involved at the highest levels of mixed martial arts to help change that perception because it is something that comes up constantly when fighting in an opponent’s hometown.
“If everybody evolves in the sport and they really want this sport to grow, it should be fair,” Assuncao commented. “If he goes out there and he does his job and gets a decision, and he deserves it, awesome. If I do my job and I do everything to deserve the decision, I hope, I think the judges are fair.
“It plays a big role in the sport. People are already like you’ve got to be careful. It’s already bad for the sport because people are already predicting that you have to be careful going to decision in Sacramento. I don’t think that’s nice. Just like I’m from Atlanta, somebody comes to Atlanta and even though the guy beat me, and they’re like be careful going to Atlanta because the guy’s from there.”
At the end of the day, Assuncao knows that it’s up to him to go out there and earn a decision if it does go to the judges’ scorecards and he just wants a fair shake, like any fighter would get.
“It should be fair,” he said. “The way it should be is like go to Sacramento, do your job, and I know the judges are going to be fair. That’s what I’d like to hear more.”