Lost in the spectacle of Saturday's main event was the ensuing debate about the rationality of the judge's scorecards.
Nearly everyone within the mixed martial arts community had an opinion about Dan Henderson's emotional decision victory over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, including UFC President Dana White.
"This is one of those tough fights," White mused during the UFC 139 post-fight press conference. "In the first round, they both knocked each other down. You give Henderson the first three rounds. You give Shogun four, and you give Shogun a 10-8 in the last round for a dominant round; it's a draw. It's one of those tough ones but that's how I scored it. I scored it a draw. But who the hell am I?"
Though the judge's saw it differently, as evidenced by the official scorecard below. (via MMA Weekly)
According to CompuStrike fight metrics, Henderson claimed a 106-66 striking advantage over the first three rounds. However, Rua's stunning comeback encapsulated a 84-19 advantage in the ensuing ten minutes. "Shogun" also bested Henderson 90-58 in total power strikes, secured five of seven takedown attempts, and obtained seven dominant positions.
Regardless, while the sport's ongoing struggle with state-commissioned judges remains, it would be criminal if it detracted from the legendary performance these two men put on display Saturday night.