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John McCarthy thinks Holly Holm beat Ketlen Vieira at UFC Fight Night 206 but won’t call it robbery

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John McCarthy scored the UFC Fight Night 206 main event in favor of Holly Holm, but he isn’t outraged by the decision going the other way.

Holm was edged out by Ketlen Vieira this past Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, a fight that she was adamant she won. The tightly contested battle sprung discussions on the issues of judging, causing the likes of Daniel Cormier to react strongly to the scoring criteria.

But while McCarthy, who helped write the unified rules, believes Holm (14-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) beat Vieira (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC), he doesn’t think it was that bad of a call.

“I don’t know what she’s gonna do. I know she’s very upset, she believes she won that fight, and I can understand why she believes she won the fight, but I don’t think it was a robbery,” McCarthy said on his “Weighing In” podcast. “I don’t think it was the greatest performance by Ketlen Vieira, either, but you’ve got to look at all these elements and figure out where you’re at, and both have things that they’re gonna have to figure out. ‘I’ve gotta stop this from happening and if I don’t, it’s not gonna be good in my next matchup.'”

He continued, “I thought (Holm) won. I gave it to her 3-2. She won the first round. She lost the second and third, I believe. I think I gave her the fourth and the fifth.”

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The judges agreed on the scoring of every round except Round 3, which two judges gave to Vieira and one gave to Holm. Regardless of the outcome, McCarthy thinks ex-UFC bantamweight champion Holm has improved on her wrestling but is starting to slow down and absorb more shots than she normally does.

“She still has the same output as far as all that movement, and she moves a lot, and she’s got a lot of lateral movement. The one thing I saw that’s a difference is when she came in with her rushes and there was no snap in her shots,” McCarthy said. “It was more of the push and then her head was still centerline, and that’s why Ketlen was able to counter her the way she did and hit her with those right hands that she kept getting blasted by, and her head was right on the centerline. She never changed it, and it’s a difference in her fighting style. …

“She’s been phenomenal, but you can see that she is slowing down little bits, and those little bits make big differences because you got that center line, and there’s little movements left and right that allow something to glance and slide by, and you’ll see it, and you’ll do that movement, and that movement is just a fraction of a second slower than it was before and instead of it glancing and sliding by, it’s popping you, and that’s what’s happening now.”