UFC has closed shop for the year with UFC Vegas 66. Jared Cannonier fought Sean Strickland in the main event of the card and it ended on a controversial note. The bout was pretty mild leading up to the final round. On first viewing, it appeared as if Strickland was winning the bout handily before round 5. Somewhat out of desperation, Jared started throwing some big strikes in the last round.
He was successful in landing big heavy blows that bloodied Sean’s nose. Despite that, most thought Sean did enough to win the bout on the cards. But, the recent trend of controversial decisions continued as Jared Cannonier won the bout via split decision. Two judges scored it 49-46 for Cannonier and the other judge had the same score for Sean Strickland.
During the bout, Sean’s coach begged him to finish the bout as he was apprehensive about the scoring. His fear ultimately came true as Strickland lost the bout via split decision.
The 31-year-old was understandably upset after the bout as he looked phenomenal in the first four rounds. He continuously put pressure on Jared and tagged the former title contender on a regular basis. Still, two judges only gave him 1 round out of the first 4.
Were they right in their decision? Let’s look at the stats and find out.
Was Sean Strickland robbed against Jared Cannonier at UFC Vegas 66?
In total, Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland landed 141 strikes (out of an attempted 310) and 157 strikes (out of an attempted 410) respectively. It means Strickland attempted exactly 100 more strikes than Cannonier. Jared’s tally for significant strikes was 141 and Sean landed 152 significant strikes himself. In round 1, Strickland landed 13 significant strikes and Jared landed 16.
But, Sean also secured 1 crucial takedown in the round. In round 2, Sean out-landed Jared by 3 significant strikes, as he landed 28, as opposed to Jared’s 25. In rounds 3, 4, and 5, Strickland landed 35, 33, and 43 significant strikes respectively. In the same rounds, Jared landed 33 strikes (round 3), 27 strikes (round 4), and 40 strikes (round 5). So round 1 was the only round where Jared landed more than Sean. (stats courtesy of UFC Stats)
Some fans may point out that Cannonier did more damage in the fight. But, most of it occurred in the 5th round of the bout. On top of that, Strickland also wobbled Jared plenty of times throughout the first four rounds. So there is a strong case to be made that Strickland should have won the bout. However, the two judges saw the fight differently.
What did you think of the result? Do you think Sean Strickland was robbed? Or do you think Jared Cannonier was the rightful winner? Let us know in the comments down below.