Controversial Judge Adalaide Byrd returned at UFC 222 – How Did She Do?

Controversial Judge Adalaide Byrd returned at UFC 222 – How Did She Do?

Fresh from an enforced break from Nevada State Athletic Commission duties following her disastrous scoring of the GGG vs Canelo fight, Adalaide Byrd returned to judging action at UFC 222.

Many were nervous given her history of incompetence. Nobody summed up their nerves more perfectly than Joe Rogan. Speaking with Daniel Cormier as part of the UFC 222 live broadcast, Rogan explained his thoughts.

“She’s a nice lady, she’s a very nice person. So is my mom [but] I wouldn’t want her calling any fights.”

Ultimately Byrd was responsible for judging three fights which went to a decision.

A bantamweight contest between Cody Stamman and Bryan Carraway was the first fight to go the distance and our first opportunity to see Adalaide’s view on proceedings. The fight was awarded to Stamman in a split decision with Byrd agreeing with fellow judge Sal D’Amato in scoring the fight 29-28 in favour of Stamman. It would be hard to pick fault with that decision given the close nature of the fight.

Byrd’s second call to action was another bantamweight bout, this time between John Dodson and Pedro Munhoz. This again was an extremely close fight with Dodson picking up the split decision win. Byrd was the only judge to score the fight 30-27 in favour of Dodson. A strange choice considering the other two judges was split between 29-28 to Dodson and 29-28 to Munhoz. Byrd’s scoring would suggest that this was a comfortable win for Dodson which certainly wasn’t the case.

The final fight of the evening for Byrd was the strawweight contest which headlined the prelims featuring UFC debutant Mackenzie Dern and Ashley Yoder. The outcome was yet another split decision, this time in favour of popular 24-year old prospect Dern. This was perhaps the most controversial of all of Byrd’s decisions as she was the only judge to score the fight 29-28 in favour of Yoder.

Overall, it doesn’t feel like a great night for Byrd. Out of three decisions, she was only aligned with her peers once. Taking into account her previous inconsistencies and controversy, it’s troubling that the Nevada State Athletic Commission continue to book her for high profile events. The fact that her appearance as a judge is newsworthy is concerning enough. With the UFC pay structure often being tiered with heavy win bonuses, I only hope that any future decisions to book Byrd for UFC duty don’t result in fighters losing out on money that they deserve.


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