Final Verdict–UFC 205: Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson

The bout ended in a majority draw which left many unsettled and even more confused. After’s taking a look at the UFC Rules and Regulations we can see that this occurs when two of three judges score a draw, resulting in a draw for the fight. The remaining judge scored it 48–47 for Tyron Woodley. Was this the correct call? Let’s dig deeper into the scoring.

From Verdict MMA App we can see that the world collectively thought Stephen Thompson won with a final score of 48-47. The score for each round is determined by the average of all the scores submitted for that round.

The average score is then rounded to fit within the 10-point must system. Some data is lost when converting to the 10-point must system, for example 9.6–9.4 rounds gets converted to 10–9 rounds–this leads to inaccuracies. The raw data for UFC 205: Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson via Verdict:

Averaging the scores submitted by all the users on Verdict MMA.

The data shows how close rounds were to two decimal places. The smallest difference was round 3 which had a difference of 0.67, which still seems significant–but this was clearly the closest round. Let’s calculate the final score based off these values.

Adding up the averages from all the rounds.

These values are close giving a difference of 0.05. Following the 10-point must system Stephen Thompson would have won. If we deviate from the 10-point must system and allow decimals we can see that this was basically a draw. The final result of having a draw was a great conclusion to the fight. So what’s the problem?

Fighters work laboriously for their craft. Paraphrasing from Joe Rogan, being in the fight game requires 100% dedication. The judges control the fate of the fighters and in this scenario one judge scored it for Tyron Woodley. Was this based off some bias or mistake? What if two judges scored it for Tyron Woodley? What if one of those was based off some bias or mistake, what if both?

The fight ending in a draw was a great call and it matches with the statistics gathered by Verdict when not following the 10-point must system. The problem arises when two judges score the card with some bias or with mistakes. Judges are qualified and skilled individuals but everyone makes mistakes and has biases. A panel of three judges with the 10-point must system isn’t enough to smother abnormalities and decide the destiny of these fighters.

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