File Photo: Stephen Albanese/Tailstar.com
UFC 115 will be officiated by familiar faces, including some Octagon veterans.
Herb Dean will referee Saturday’s night main event between former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The three judges assigned to the bout are Sal D'Amato of Wisconsin, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton of California and Bill Mahood of British Columbia.
Vancouver Athletic Commission chairman Mirko Mladenovic confirmed the assignments to Sherdog.com on Tuesday.
The refereeing roster for the event will also include Quebec's Yves Lavigne, as well as local Vancouver referees Kevin Dornan and Tony Williamson. Three other judges will score Saturday night's card: Tony Weeks of Nevada and two other B.C. fighters-turned-judges, Chris Franco and Lance Gibson.
"I am particularly proud of my judges all of whom do have a history of judging bouts, primarily amateur or pro-am. All of them are former fighters," said Mladenovic of the local officials. "This is the first UFC where the fighters will be judged by their peers. The most important part of judging is understanding what you are looking at, and these men understand the sport very well."
Mahood, Franco and Gibson are all pioneers for MMA in western Canada as fighters, trainers and activists. Mahood is perhaps best known for his June 2005 UFC bout against Forrest Griffin, while Gibson himself is a two-time UFC veteran, having fought Jermaine Andre and the late Evan Tanner in the Octagon in 2000.
"As you can see all of our judges come from Pankration,” said Mladenovic. “This is also reflected in every aspect of our sanctioning party right down to the inspectors in the back room who come from every major gym in the lower mainland."
Dean's selection as the main event referee comes as little surprise. One of MMA's most acclaimed officials, Dean draws main event duties for a plethora of major North American MMA cards, especially UFC events.
Hamilton is one of MMA's most experienced judges and has been a staple of major MMA events in Nevada and California for years. However, it is worth noting that Hamilton did turn in scorecards for Lyoto Machida over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua last October, and Leonard Garcia over Chan Sung Jung this past April, making him a part of the two most unpopular decisions the sport has seen as of late.
D'Amato has quickly become a preferred judge, especially by Zuffa, as of late. D'Amato has steadily started to log bigger assignments in Nevada as well as international UFC cards, and was selected as one of the three judges to preside over the Machida-Rua rematch in Montreal last May.
Mahood recently retired from active competition and has become involved in the regulatory side of the sport in British Columbia, starting the MMA Association of British Columbia (MMABC), the province's amateur sanctioning body. This will be the first major assignment for the 10-year MMA vet, whose resume thus far is comprised largely of local amateur and pro cards.
Below are a list of notable scorecards turned in by D'Amato and Hamilton. Mahood is excluded, due to the lack of notable bouts judged. The cross-section of scorecards is intended to show their judgments in fights that were seen as particularly close, contentious or controversial.
L.C. Davis 30-27 over Javier Vazquez (8/9/2009)
Takeya Mizugaki 29-28 over Jeff Curran (8/9/2009)
Carlos Condit 29-28 over Jake Ellenberger (9/16/2009)
Randy Couture 29-28 over Brandon Vera (11/14/2009)
Justin Wren 29-28 over Jon Madsen (12/5/2009)
Aaron Simpson 29-28 over Tom Lawlor (1/11/2010)
Frankie Edgar 48-47 over B.J. Penn (4/12/2010)
Rick Story 29-28 over Nick Osipczak (4/12/2010)
Nelson “Doc” Hamilton:
Matt Hughes 29-28 over Renato Verissimo (6/19/2004)
Tito Ortiz 29-28 over Vitor Belfort (2/5/2005)
Georges St. Pierre 29-28 over B.J. Penn (3/4/2006)
Stephan Bonnar 29-28 over Keith Jardine (4/6/2006)
Mike Swick 29-29 draw with Josh Burkman (1/23/2008)
Clay Guida 29-28 over Nate Diaz (1/31/2009)
Heath Herring 29-28 over Cheick Kongo (3/1/2008)
Antonio Banuelos 29-28 over Scott Jorgensen (6/7/2009)
Gleison Tibau 29-28 over Melvin Guillard (6/20/2009)
Lyoto Machida 48-47 over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (10/24/2009)
Leonard Garcia 29-28 over Chan Sung Jung (4/24/2010)
Below are the refereeing and judging assignments for the full UFC 115 undercard:
Jesse Lennox vs. Mike Pyle -- Referee: Kevin Dornan, Judges: Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, Bill Mahood.
Claude Patrick vs. Ricardo Funch -- Referee: Tony Williamson, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Chris Franco, Tony Weeks.
Peter Sobotta vs. James Wilks -- Referee: Kevin Dornan, Judges: Chris Franco, Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton.
Mario Miranda vs. David Loiseau -- Referee: Tony Williamson, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Chris Franco, Bill Mahood.
Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig -- Referee: Yves Lavigne, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Bill Mahood, Tony Weeks.
Evan Dunham vs. Tyson Griffin -- Referee: Herb Dean, Judges: Chris Franco, Lance Gibson, Tony Weeks.
Rory MacDonald vs. Carlos Condit -- Referee: Kevin Dornan, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton.
Gilbert Yvel vs. Ben Rothwell -- Referee: Yves Lavigne, Judges: Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, Bill Mahood, Tony Weeks.
Martin Kampmann vs. Paulo Thiago -- Referee: Herb Dean, Judges: Sal D’Amato, Chris Franco, Tony Weeks.
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Patrick Barry -- Referee: Yves Lavigne, Judges: Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, Tony Weeks.