French fans flocked inside the Accor Arena to see their hero Ciryl Gane headline the second-ever UFC event in Paris. However, throughout the night, they have witnessed many occasions when the officiating allegedly gave preferable treatment to home fighters over their opponents.
In the main event of the preliminary card, Taylor Lapilus took on Caolan Loughran, who was undefeated heading into the event. The bantamweight fight went the full distance and Loughran seemingly dominated the bout with his constant pressure on the ground. Although Lapilus looked like the underdog, he got the judges’ nod and won the fight via unanimous decision.
All three judges present on the night scored the fight for Taylor Lapilus, 29-28. It is important to mention that Lapilus was the home fighter in this bout. He had the advantage in terms of strikes as he managed to hit Loughran with 87 total strikes. In comparison, the Irish MMA fighter managed 70 strikes in total as per UFC Stats. But, he dominated the bout on the ground.
With 2 takedowns, Caolan Loughran had 6:23 minutes of ground control. On the other hand, the French fighter only had 18 seconds of ground control. On the face of it, the decision does seem harsh for the formerly undefeated prospect. Unsurprisingly, it did not go down well with the fans online who accused the judges of favoritism.
One fan on X (formerly Twitter), was very blunt about his thoughts on the fight and wrote, “Loughran got robbed.” Another fan seemed unconvinced with Lapilus’ performance and added, “He got lucky no skills.” Some fans took the next step and blamed the judges as they added, “Clearly the judges have been bribed,” and “Judges have been drinking tonight.”
French fighter William Gomis won via a controversial referee decision at UFC Paris
The Taylor Lapilus fight was not the only fight decision that fans disagreed with on the night. Earlier in the prelims, French fighter Nora Cornolle also had a questionable unanimous decision win over her opponent Joselyne Edwards. She won the fight with two judges scoring the bout 30-27 and one judge scoring the bout 29-28 in her favor.
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However, the stats paint a slightly different picture as Edwards landed 5 takesdowns and had 8:42 minutes of ground control. Nora Cornolle, on the other hand, had a better striking differential with 85 total strikes as opposed to her opponent’s 75. On both occasions in the event, the judges favored the fighter with the better striking and coincidentally, both happened to be French.
On the main card, French fighter William Gomis also triumphed over his opponent Yanis Ghemmouri after a very controversial decision by referee Loic Pora, who called the fight after a kick to the midsection. While Ghemmouri felt it was a below-the-belt strike and stopped fighting, the referee took it as a sign that the fighter was hurt and unable to continue.
But it was clear after the stoppage that Ghemmouri’s cup was dislodged and could have potentially hurt him. However, unfortunately for him, the referee called the bout and it will go down as a loss on Yanis Ghemmouri’s record. Even on this occasion, the decision went in favor of the home fighter.
So what is your take on the issues at UFC Paris? Let us know in the comments below.