Ilir Latifi Wants UFC to Consider Using Fighters, Trainers as Judges After Narrow Defeat

By Tristen Critchfield Feb 11, 2020


Ilir Latifi thought he did enough to defeat Derrick Lewis at UFC 247, but the cageside judges felt differently, award a trio of 29-28 scorecards to “The Black Beast.”

Latifi shared his thoughts on the fight in an Instagram post on Tuesday, most notably urging the promotion to consider using fighters or trainers as judges in the future.

First of all I want to thank my family, friends, team and all the people that supported me, thank you! When I decided to take this challenge and fight Derrick in his hometown, people thought I was crazy,” he wrote. “Saturday night walking in to the arena to fight Derrick Lewis, Houston’s home pride, I knew this battle wasn’t going to be easy. The crowd was there for him and even the judges...

“I think I won that fight and many of the fans and viewers did too, but it is what it is... As fighters, we sacrifice and risk a lot for this sport and it’s very sad to see how they can play around with peoples work and dedication,” he continued. “Hopefully in the future we will see judges and scoring system that’s made for MMA by people of real experience of the sport like fighters and trainers that have better understanding of the sport and can make better judgments.”

Latifi controlled large portions of the fight through takedowns or in the clinch but he wasn’t especially active from those positions. Lewis, meanwhile, landed the contest’s most significant strikes and put his stamp on the bout with a furious rally in the latter portion of Round 3. UFC 247 featured a number of controversial scores, including the evening’s headliner, where Jon Jones won a highly-disputed unanimous verdict against Jon Jones in a light heavyweight title bout.

The contest marked Latifi’s heavyweight debut in the Octagon after the 36-year-old Swede compiled a 7-5 record competing at 205 pounds in the Las Vegas-based promotion.

View this post on Instagram

First of all I want to thank my family, friends, team and all the people that supported me, thank you! When I decided to take this challenge and fight Derrick in his hometown, people thought I was crazy. Saturday night walking in to the arena to fight Derrick Lewis, Houstons home pride, I knew this battle wasn’t going to be easy. The crowd was there for him and even the judges... I think I won that fight and many of the fans and viewers did too, but it is what it is... As fighters, we sacrifice and risk a lot for this sport and it’s very sad to see how they can play around with peoples work and dedication. Hopefully in the future we will see judges and scoring system that’s made for MMA by people of real experience of the sport like fighters and trainers that have better understanding of the sport and can make better judgments. @ufc @ufceurope @joerogan @dominickcruz

A post shared by Ilir Latifi (@ilirlatifi) on Feb 10, 2020 at 8:47am PST

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