When Artem Reznikov made his first Desert Force appearance against Jarrah Al Selawi, things did not end in anything resembling an ideal fashion.
After a high-octane fifteen minutes at Desert Force 22 headliner, referee Marc Goddard stood between both men, holding them at the wrist; each warrior was visibly hoping to have their hand raised in front of the capacity crowd. After a few moments, the judges had rendered a unanimous decision, awarding Al Selawi “30-27, 29-28, and 29-28”. However, the MMA community including fans, coaches, and fighters disagreed with the decision as they saw from watching the fight that Reznikov clearly deserved to win.
Amidst the storm of controversy and reactions, ArabsMMA reached out to the different stakeholders, including Desert Force CEO Zaid Mirza for his opinion, the Arab MMA Commission for an official statement, the two fighters Jarrah Al Selawi and Artem Reznikov for their views on the fight, and most recently, Desert Force COO Zaid Abu Soud.
Like many others, Zaid Abu Soud had the impression that Artem won, but it seems that the detailed technical breakdown released by the MMA commission in hopes to shed some light on the controversy had him reconsider:
“I am first and foremost a fan of the sport.
Having said that, I agree with the comments of many fans in reference to the main event between Jarrah Selawi and Artem Rezikov. I also thought it should have gone in favor of Rezikov.
After reading Rio’s technical breakdown on ArabsMMA I think this fight is a great example of the development of the sport, and how developed the judging criteria really is.”, says Abu Soud
“I will leave this decision to the people who know how todo a better job at it than I do. Having said that, I hope the fans understand that we as an organization will continue to work with technical people and organizations who have more experience regulating the sport and the athletes we promote.”
A very open statement from Desert Force’s chief operating officer, persistently looking to apply the most professional and transparent standards to the organization.