Mike Winkeljohn: 'Referee's Mistakes Affected Judges'

Mike Winkeljohn

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Reflecting on the main event of UFC 208 that saw JacksonWink MMA's Holly Holm suffer defeat in a title bout against Germaine de Randamie, head coach Mike Winkeljohn was critical of the New York State Athletic Commission's referees and judges.

Speaking with Duane Finley during the FloCombat Road Trip, Winkeljohn believes the referee made key mistakes that could have affected the outcome of the inaugural UFC women's featherweight title fight on the judge's scorecards on Saturday night in Brooklyn. 

De Randamie landed a late, hard right hand after the second round that caused significant damage to Holm, the former UFC bantamweight champion. The additional late strikes occurred after the third round as well. 

"They saw she actually got wobbled once," Winkeljohn said about the judges seeing the effect of the late strikes. "It blew her eye open, and it caused a little cut. That plays out in judges' minds."


While visual damage is not part of the official scoring criteria for judging, Winkeljohn believes the referee failing to ensure a clean break caused a ripple effect to the scorecards.

"Boxing judges see the person walking forward and look at the other guy's face," said Winkeljohn. "They didn't take into account the hard head kick. Holly dropped the girl at the end of the fight and put her on her butt."

When it was all said and done, all three judges would unanimously score the bout in favor of de Randamie.

Winkeljohn understands the referee has a tough job inside the cage, but he said the same mistake should not be repeated. 

"The first one, it happens; the ref's got a tough job," explained Winkeljohn. "But the second one, he needs to be there that much faster." 

Ultimately, the team believes it had opportunities to win the fight even after the mishaps but cannot deny the lasting effects on the bout.

"It does play out in the fight," he said. "It makes a difference."

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