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Cecil Peoples Defends UFC 104 Scorecard

Written by Tim Ngo
November 8th, 2009
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Cecil Peoples

Cecil Peoples Talks UFC 104 – It’s been a couple  weeks since UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida controversially defended his title against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and for the most part, the dust has settled.

One of the three judges that awarded Machida a 48-47 unanimous decision win at UFC 104 was Cecil Peoples, who tells MMA fans what they can do with their boisterous opinions.

“The fans and all the naysayers, I don’t worry about,” Peoples recently told MMAWeekly.com. “I don’t back down because it’s not popular. My thing is, Rua did hit him more. But Machida hit him harder, especially in the early rounds.”

Although Peoples always seems to receive heat for his scoring, to his defense his two counterparts scored the 5Round title affair the exact same way, well, almost the EXACT same way:

Marcos Rosales (Machida 48-47):

1stRound: Machida 10-9
2ndRound: Machida 10-9
3rdRound: Machida 10-9
4thRound: Rua 10-9
5thRound: Rua 10-9

Cecil Peoples (Machida 48-47):

1stRound: Machida 10-9
2ndRound: Machida 10-9
3rdRound: Machida 10-9
4thRound: Rua 10-9
5thRound: Rua 10-9

Nelson Hamilton (Machida 48-47):

1stRound: Rua 10-9
2ndRound: Machida 10-9
3rdRound: Machida 10-9
4thRound: Machida 10-9
5thRound: Rua 10-9

The 3rdRound is the main 5-minute stanza in question as most MMA enthusiasts believed that Shogun did enough to capture it. However, Peoples provides fans with insight on what goes through the judges’ minds when they officiate a fight.

“I’m really perplexed about how you give (Rua) this round, because Shogun was kicking (Machida) a lot in the legs, but every time he kicked him in the legs, he got hit in the face,” he said. “Shogun would put his hand up, and Machida would go right through, sweat’s flying off (Rua’s) face. Shogun kicked (Machida) in the belly – that’s how he got the red mark.

“But you gotta remember, Machida is stepping back, so when he gets kicked, he’s getting brushed. But he counters Shogun with a hard kick to the belly. Which one counts more for the exchange? I give it to the (second one), because it was harder. It wasn’t brushed.”

Shogun pushed the pace for most of the fight, particularly in the championship rounds, and that is why Peoples believes that fans felt Shogun should have left Staples Center with the 205-pound strap. However, he contends that the champion inflicted more damage, even though he was less active.

“Everybody was expecting him to destroy Shogun like he destroyed Rashad Evans, and he didn’t destroy him,” said Peoples. “It was a close fight. So people think: (Rua) did good. If he did that good, he must have won the fight. I give the fight to Machida in a very, very close fight. Now you’re pissed off because it’s my fault that you lost your money. No, it’s not. It’s Machida’s fault.”

For the most part, both fighters and fans alike have come to terms with the unanimous decision and moved on. It certainly helps that UFC president Dana White has already called for an immediate rematch, but for those that want to continue to bitch and gripe about Peoples’ judging skills, he’s got ten words for ya …

“If you don’t like it, you can go to hell!”

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