The odds were already against James Krause at UFC 247. However, they might have been longer than he initially realized.
Nonetheless, Krause gave the larger Giles all he could handle before losing a split decision at the Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 8. In the first round, Krause took his opponent’s back and spent most of the frame hunting for a rear-naked choke. Perhaps the most inexplicable scorecard of the bout belonged to judge Joe Soliz, who scored the opening stanza 10-9 in favor of Giles. Had Soliz given that round to Krause, the WEC veteran would have been on the opposite side of the split verdict.
Soliz’s scorecard looks more suspicious than it did at the time after TSN revealed that the judge had a connection to Elite MMA coach Eric Williams, who cornered Giles at UFC 247. Soliz received his black belt under Williams in 2008, and he is also Facebook friends with Giles. Soliz denied those ties affected his ability to judge the fight.
“I haven’t been in contact or associated with [Elite MMA] in over eight years,” Soliz told TSN.
Williams, meanwhile, said he hadn’t been in touch with Soliz for nearly two years. According to the Texas Combative Sports Program, it would have been Soliz’s responsibility to disclose a conflict of interest regarding any of the fights he was scheduled to score that night.
Krause was understandably upset upon learning of the ties between Soliz and Giles. He voiced his frustrations in a lengthy post on Instagram and also addressed the situation on Sirius XM’s MMA Tonight.
“It’s really discouraging whenever I leave the fight and I think I won and then they call his name,” Krause said. “When it happened I was like, ‘Man, it was a close fight. I can’t really complain. I should’ve done more. I tried to leave it all out there. Eighteen hours notice is easier said than done but Round 3 is not the discrepancy. Round 1 is the discrepancy that caused me to lose the fight and man, I just can’t get over that. I lose sleep over that. I just can’t understand how that’s possible. So what that tells me is that dude was never going to give me a fair shake anyway. So he gave him Round 1, obviously Trevin won Round 2, and he’s like, ‘I’m gonna give this dude Round 3 because he’s already lost the fight anyway.’ I never had a fair shake.”
Krause’s manager, James House, said they plan on appealing the loss.
Soliz was already a subject of controversy for his work in the evening’s main event between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes. In a bout that most observers viewed as a 48-47 scorecard, either in favor of Jones or Reyes, Soliz submitted a 49-46 tally in favor of the champion, who ultimately prevailed via unanimous decision.
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If this isn’t the most frustrating shit for me in the world I don’t know what... how is this not a conflict of interest? Training at someone’s gym for 10+ years and receiving a black belt from the coach corner my opponent. I no way am I mad I lost the fight, it was close. 1 was mine, 2 was his, and 3 was a toss up. But round 3 was given to me on 2/3 cards. It was round 1 they scored for him. After a take down and almost 4 minutes of back control, not to mention almost finishing the RNC, I don’t know how they would give that round to him. This sport has been around for too long to not start making changes. I know the Texas State Athletic Commission wont do a damn thing about my fight. They never do but I hope the @ufc, @danawhite, and the state commissions can come together to actually make the judging for OUR sport, not boxing and hold the people doing these jobs accountable. This is a disgrace to our sport. Not just my fight but multiple examples of incompetence from the same judge. So frustrated to even read this shit... and remember I lost half my purse because of this guy.