Edson Barboza’s team has come back empty-handed on an appeal of a close decision loss to Paul Felder.
Barboza’s manager Alex Davis on Monday told MMA Fighting the UFC has decided not to overturn the result at UFC 242. Davis hopes to book a rubber match between the lightweights, who’ve split a pair of bouts.
“Paul Felder is down to doing it,” Davis said. “I’ll talk to (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby this week. Edson wants the Felder fight, but we don’t know if that’s going to happen.”
Davis appealed the result one day after the Sept. 7 contest in Abu Dhabi, which was regulated by the UFC in lieu of an official athletic commission. One judge had every round for Barboza, 30-27, while a second judge scored the opposite, giving Felder the 30-27 shutout. Felder secured the split decision with a 29-28 score from the third judge.
Barboza won a decision over Felder in their first meeting in 2015. The bout won “Fight of the Night” honors.
Felder appears open to a trilogy bout as the main event of a Fight Night card, and Barboza’s team is also looking to make it happen.
“We have the utmost respect for Paul Felder,” Davis said. “He thinks he won, and he’s very coherent. He also agrees that the scorecards were absurd. We all know it’s absurd that one judge scores it 30-27 to one fighter and another judge scores it 30-27 to the other.”
The UFC 242 fight isn’t the only result Davis is contesting. He plans to appeal Dhiego Lima’s split decision win over Luke Jumeau at UFC 243, seeking a unanimous decision after one judge scored the bout 29-28 for Jumeau.
Davis also is fighting Alex Oliveira’s recent loss to Nicolas Dalby at UFC Copenhagen. He said referee Rebin Saber erred when he stood the fighters up with 2:10 left in the third round when “Cowboy” was working on top position.
The manager said appeals are a necessary part of advocating for his clients and maintaining fairness in the sport.
“I’ll appeal every time there’s a mistake, not because I think I’ll win, but because we have to fight it,” Davis said. “A mistake happens, everyone forgets about it in three or four days, and life goes on. We can’t let that happen.
“The mistake in (Oliveira’s) fight cost him half of his purse. The mistake in Dhiego Lima’s fight almost cost that. I’ll complain every time something like this happens, and I think everyone should, too. If we don’t do this, no one else will. My fighters, their teams and myself are the ones who lose with that. It’s a matter of principles.”