Judges Gonna Judge: Was Douglas Lima robbed in the rematch against Michael Page at Bellator 267?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·8 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Welcome to Judges Gonna Judge, where our MMA Junkie staff panel revisits the most controversial decision that occurred over the weekend.

For the first installment in this new series, we take a look at Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page 2, a highly-anticipated rematch that took place at Bellator 267 on Friday in London, England at the SSE Arena, Wembley.

Page was awarded the victory via split decision, earning 29-28 scores from judges Eric Colon and Douglas Crosby, while Ben Cartlidge saw the fight for Lima with a dissenting score of 29-28.

The official scores caused quite a stir on social media, so we asked our panel to take another look at this outcome. Was this a robbery? Was it too close to call? Did the judges get it right?

MMA Junkie’s Matthew Wells, Farah Hannoun, and Nolan King put on their judging hats and break the fight down round by round.

Round 1

Wells: The opening round was tough to score. Page dropped Lima twice from strikes, but both times he appeared to catch Lima more off-balance than hurting him. However, being sent to the canvas twice as a result of strikes is significant. Lima’s first real action was getting a takedown in the middle of the round, but he was largely rendered ineffective from the top position due to Page’s excellent wrist control. Lima was able to land a few strikes, but Page did well from his back until the round ended. If you value the top position more than being knocked off the feet twice, I understand scoring the round for Lima.

Wells’ score: 10-9 Page

Hannoun: Page got off to a great start when he briefly dropped Lima with a blistering right hand. Lima was back to his feet right away, but moments later, he was met with another right which stumbled him down. MVP was largely in control of the first portion of the round, but midway through the opening frame, Lima caught a lunging Page and took him down. Although Lima didn’t appear too hurt from the punches and was able to keep Page down for the rest of the round, Page’s knockdowns were the more impactful moments which is why I scored it for MVP.

Hannoun’s score: 10-9 Page

King: The knockdown right off the bat for Page wasn’t really a rocking punch. Lima was off-balance, but the optics obviously looked good for MVP. Now, the second truly significant shot Page landed looked a little more solid, but again Lima was off-balance. Overzealous, MVP gets taken down with more than half the round remaining. While MVP’s wrist control is very solid, he eats a bunch of Lima elbows around the 3:30 mark into the round. Lima lands a pair of solid leg kicks before the round ends. This is a weird round to score. Were those knockdowns effective or not? I lean toward one not being, and the other being. I still think Lima did enough to squeeze it out – just barely. That ground-and-pound sequence I think stole it.

King’s score: 10-9 Lima

Official scores:
Cartlidge: 10-9 Lima
Colon: 10-9 Page
Crosby: 10-9 Page

Round 2

Wells: Page threw and landed more strikes in the opening two minutes of the second round, although none of it was really significant. Lima landed a kick to the planted leg as Page attempted to throw a right hand, resulting in Page falling to a knee. This almost created the same knockout scenario from their first fight, but Lima missed with the punch as Page evaded. After that, intermittent strikes were offered by both until Page charged forward with a quick combination that knocked Lima off his feet. Was this another off-balance knockdown? Probably, but after that, nothing else of note occurred. Based on Page’s activity and Lima not really doing much the entire round, I agree with the official judges here that it was a round to score for Page.

Wells’ score: 10-9 Page

Hannoun: Round 2 was also pretty difficult to score. Page was the busier striker, while Lima almost repeated the same fight-ending sequence in their first outing, when he dropped Page with a leg kick, but this time, MVP was able to move out of the way of the follow-up shot. With less than a minute remaining in the round, Page ran over Lima again with a right hand which sat him down, but the Brazilian appeared unfazed just like he was from the Round 1 shots that caught him off balance. Based off of that one significant moment and Page being the more active striker, I gave that round to him too.

Hannoun’s score: 10-9 Page

King: Both men landed some solid strikes in the opening minute. Evenness made it kind of a wash. Side note: Lima’s leg sweep-to-missed-uppercut was a wild sequence. If the rematch ended in the same, odd fashion as the first fight, that would be utterly bizarre. Anyway, Page landed more often in Round 2, it seemed as the two fighters engaged in a leg kick battle. Again, MVP clips an off-balance Lima, though that may have been the most solid punch of the fight. He definitely won this round.

King’s score: 10-9 Page

Official scores:
Cartlidge: 10-9 Page
Colon: 10-9 Page
Crosby: 10-9 Page

Round 3

Wells: The last round was the easiest to score in the entire fight. Just over a minute in, Lima landed a right hand to drop Page. With just over two minutes left, he secured a takedown, but this time he was more active with punches from the top while Page did his best to hold on tightly again. At one point, Lima postured up and landed a few punches before being pulled back down to guard. When he was there, he landed a few elbow strikes before the round ended. This was easily a round for Lima.

Wells’ score: 10-9 Lima

Hannoun: This was a clear round for Lima. This time, it was Lima who scored an early knockdown and with just over two minutes remaining in the final round, he took MVP down and landed some solid ground and pound, before riding out the rest of the fight in top position.

Hannoun’s score: 10-9 Lima

King: This is perhaps the clearest round to score of the fight. Lima landed a few strikes before he scored a knockdown. The takedown at the 3:00 mark of the final round sealed the deal, in my opinion. The ground-and-pound was an added bonus to solidify the round for the former welterweight champion.

King’s score: 10-9 Lima

Official scores:
Cartlidge: 10-9 Lima
Colon: 10-9 Lima
Crosby: 10-9 Lima

Was Lima robbed?

Wells: I do not believe this was a robbery. It was a close fight with both fighters having their moments, but they were few and far between. I walked away feeling neither man really put their stamp on this fight and neither man was really hurt during the fight. The third round was the easiest to score, as even the worst of judges would have given it to Lima, but Page did enough to win the first two rounds. It really comes down to what you liked more as a judge in Round 1. We often see the robbery word thrown around a lot when the loser of the split decision closes out the fight in a strong manner as Lima did here. This was a close fight, but it was not at all criminal to score this fight for Page.

Wells’ overall score: 29-28 Page

Hannoun: It’s tough to use the word robbery when it comes to a fight that could have gone either way. For me, Page had the bigger moments in Rounds 1 and 2 which is why I ultimately scored the fight in his favor. Round 1 could have gone to Lima based on the takedown he landed midway through, but I thought Page’s knockdowns were the more impactful moments of the opening frame. Round 2 was largely uneventful, but Page knocking Lima off balance and being the busier striker was enough to give him the round. Finally, Round 3 was clearly Lima so it really comes down to Round 1 and that’s why robbery would be an unfair term to use for this particular fight.

Hannoun’s overall score: 29-28 Page

King: I scored the fight for Lima, but it’s certainly not a robbery. It really comes down to how you score Round 1. If someone watched that and thought the knockdowns were more significant than I did, I could easily see that round being scored for MVP. This is in no way a robbery. Let’s not overuse that word. I can see both perspectives as to who won, so you won’t hear me complain.

King’s overall score: 29-28 Lima

Official decision: Michael Page def. Douglas Lima via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Official individual scores:
Cartlidge: 29-28 Lima
Colon: 29-28 Page
Crosby: 29-28 Page

1

1