As much as I enjoy making fun of the WEC, they have been putting on some entertaining shows in the last few months. The production values aren’t great, and their play-by-play announcer makes Mike Goldberg seem like a seasoned vet, but their fights thrive on action and unpredictability. Last night’s show saw several back and forth bouts, proving that focusing on the lighter weight classes really is a solid strategy.
One thing I wonder about, though, is the scoring problems in the Manny Tapia-Antonio Banuelos fight. If you didn’t see it, this was a very close, exciting bantamweight bout, and after three rounds I had some difficulty picking the winner. I wasn’t alone, apparently, because while one of the judges ruled it for Tapia and one for Banuelos, the third ruled it 29-29, a draw. Naturally, this was met with disapproval from the crowd and tepid disappointment from the fighters, the way a draw is guaranteed to do.
But wait! There was a scoring error! Everyone come back. Cage announcer Joe Martinez is about to try and get everyone’s attention like a junior high school vice principal at an assembly. Now the scores have been corrected, and the winner is Tapia! Hooray for Tapia!
Now, I don’t want to get all grassy knoll here, especially not with a bantamweight fight in the WEC, which would rank somewhere below a fixed student council vote as far as conspiracies go, but I have to say that I found this odd. What kind of scoring errors can happen when we’re only counting to thirty? It’s not as if that third judge really meant to score the last round 10-9 and his math skills failed him. Something isn’t quite right there. No wonder they had such a hard time tallying the results of the recent primary in New Mexico. Addition just isn’t their thing. Mullets and dirty mustaches, however? They’ve got that stuff on lockdown.
That bit of suspicious reckoning aside, it was a good night for the WEC. What their fighters lack in polish, they make up for with intensity and enthusiasm. Kind of like a good, seedy strip club. Maybe that’s why I look forward to their next offering, even if it means sitting through their tribal arm band opening graphics, which simply could not be more fitting for so many different reasons.