Judges Rule Bennett vs. Volkov a Draw at M-1 Challenge XXII

‘Never leave the outcome of a fight up to the judges’ is a tireless cliché but one would think that those who score mixed martial arts would work harder to address their all too often suspect results – or at least come close to getting it right. Nothing could be further from the truth last Friday night at M-1 Challenge XXII in Moscow, Russia, as Team Bombsquad fighter, Pat Bennett, was robbed of a victory against Red Devil Sports Club stand-out, Alexander Volkov, in a bout with significant heavyweight contention ramifications.

Known for his wrestling pedigree, Bennett has proven to be a multidimensional mixed martial artist capable of transitioning into a touted striker at will which is backed by his record that’s heavily weighted in the ‘win’ column with five first-round TKO’s. But when Bennett’s run at the 2010 M-1 Selection tournament title was cut short against Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner, he felt it necessary to get back to his fundamental talent.

The heavyweight contention bout against Volkov sent Bennett back to his decorated base with a game plan to exploit the match-up’s stylistic mismatch; defend the striking, set-up takedowns and demolish Volkov on the ground. Bennett did exactly this for three full rounds with precision execution. With the win seemingly in the bag, the pair waited for the judges to call a 30-27 unanimous decision in the American’s favour but the judges called the bout a draw, forcing an overtime round to decide the outcome.

With the crowd and commentators stunned, Bennett set back into fighting mode and delivered yet another flawless round which should have secured the judges’ decision. Back to the score cards the three wise men went and returned with an unchanged ruling; after four rounds, the bout was declared a draw in what has been called ‘possibly the worst decision of 2010’ by M-1 Global director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan.

What was originally a heavyweight bout with serious title contention ramifications ended up as another example of horrific judging leaving two fighters with a neutral notch on their records and one disappointed Pat Bennett.

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I've been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven't missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I've witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC.............. I resently joined MMA-paradise.com & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.