(Original Penn vs. Edgar photo by Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
There are many ways to watch a fight and try to determine who won.
Some watch it on a 84" high-definition television, some watch from a corner booth in a crowded and smoke-filled bar, some spend more than eight hours diligently rehashing the action and rewinding each vital sequence for a fresh evaluation, and others watch the fight ten-feet away through the cage as it plays out live. The last two examples represent the opposing sides of the viewing spectrum; one is by far the most accurate, and the other the least. The kicker is that the most ineffective of the bunch is the method used by the sport's judges who render the count and decide the fate of the fighters.
I've once again tackled the chore of revisiting a fight with a fine-tooth comb to sort through the minute details. My inspiration for this was spawned when stumbling across an array of opinions insisting that Penn actually won, and that Edgar's incessant frenzy of movement distorted the realistic outcome of the fight. I encountered this in an article on MMAConvert, from a journalist I regard highly at Bloody Elbow, and then, what finally convinced me to invest the hours to form a more qualified opinion, Doug Crosby's (the judge currently under fire for scoring every round for Frankie Edgar) rather eccentric and playful approach at justifying his marks for the bout.
Crosby's spin to the fans is raising more ire than the controversial score card he turned in. Some applaud his gaudy grandstanding for being refreshing and witty; others are horribly appalled at his chosen level of professionalism and how it reflects upon the sport, the UFC, and the fighters.
I felt the familiar pangs of hesitation and decided to adhere to the rule that one can never put weight into an opinion without rewatching the fight. Last Saturday night, I noticed after the 3rd round that Edgar could arguably have taken the frame, and then gave the remaining two to "The Answer" as well, for a vaguely calculated 48-47 tally for Edgar. Today, I have literally invested what people that actually work for a living would call "a full day" towards dissecting each and every intrinsic detail of the fight and applying the results fanatically to the guidelines in the unified rules.
For reference, my candid interaction with Nick Lembo on some of the questions stemming from the Shogun/Machida and Couture/Vera decisions can be found here; the interview also contains a link to the most current set of scoring criteria that can be viewed and downloaded as well (page 11 has the goods).
When a fight remains standing for the bulk of the round, effective striking is the cardinal priority, defined as: "determining the number of legal strikes landed by a contestant and the significance of such legal strikes." The word 'significance' is meant to be a more politically correct interpretation of damage (see Lembo interview). Thus, statistics counting the number of punches and the assessment of their impact can be not only valuable, but data that has a tremendous bearing on the biggest credential that determines the winner in Penn vs. Edgar.
The question of how significant a strike really is also represents the yawning chasm of subjectivity and diversity of interpretation.
Check out the Compustrike numbers as well as the FightMetric report. These are subject to the same aspect of human error as everything else (a quick glance at Compustrike reflects a single knee from Penn, when there were clearly two) when measuring the dynamic collisions of an MMA fight of the highest level; and Penn vs. Edgar, much like Shogun vs. Machida, consisted of five full rounds of furiously high-paced striking volleys. Combinations are unloaded like a machine gun, often registering 6-7 strikes in a second or two (Penn and Edgar commonly traded lightning-fast three punch reels simultaneously), and these studies focus on the finite elements of striking with the convenience of technology, while the official judges visually score what they witness in real time.
I've scrutinized each moment of the fight and correlated the results as suggested in the unified rules. You may want to first skim through the intense documentation of the action in each round and jump to the conclusion, which does more than elucidate the case for Penn winning; it shows the potential for the powerful influence of perception, specifically Edgar's overabundance of energized activity, and how it and finishing the round strong can potentially outweigh the crucial details. There is some merit to the statement that Edgar may have fancy-stepped his way to the win. There is no question, however, that the fight was extremely close and difficult to score, so myriad interpretations will abound--but most importantly, it instilled me with the confidence to openly (yet logically and respectfully) defy a 50-45 score for Edgar and deem it as nearly inconceivable.
I'm not insistent that I'm completely correct or that my interpretation is flawless throughout, but I now believe I've put enough time and effort into the issue to stand behind my convictions unless intelligently enlightened otherwise.
Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.
Effective striking is judged by determining the number of legal strikes landed by a contestant and the significance of such legal strikes.
Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from
standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.
Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt
at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking; taking down an opponent to force a ground fight; creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to
achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.
Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike or takedown.
Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks.
BJ opens as the aggressor in the center of the cage, with Edgar circling. Nice clean leg kick lands by Edgar, ducking the left counter. Another clean leg kick. Although Penn is in the center and moving forward more, Edgar is busier and "creating more striking opportunities" while "dictating the pace, location, and position" of the bout.
Jab from Edgar lands reasonably. Penn cracks him hard with a left counter when Edgar tries the double jab, and Edgar stumbles back. This is the hardest and cleanest shot of the round thus far, and BJ presses forward even more. This equals out the striking, control, and aggression points that Edgar slightly jumped ahead on early. Double jab again from Edgar, left hook counter by Penn, both of which seem to connect with medium impact. BJ starts to establish his jab with 3 consecutive needles that land when Edgar initiates. Push kick by Edgar is blocked. Penn anticipates Edgar's incoming 1-2 with another stiff jab that lands. Left hook/right straight combo by BJ connects.
At the halfway point of the first, BJ's stalking is more effective for the control and aggression, his left hook is landing as a counter with much more force than Edgar's blows, and he's landed the hardest shot of the fight. He is evading more strikes and countering with more success, so Penn also earns the defense point. By a small margin, Penn is ahead in all categories.
Edgar lunges in and connects with a left while avoiding Penn's jab. Edgar lands a nice kick; Penn simultaneously feeds him the left counter. A few exchanges ensue without many clean blows landing, but Edgar is starting to dictate things again and is much busier, until he grabs a single--BJ hops backwards, lands three rapid-fire uppercuts, with force, to Edgar's face and throws a left hook while breaking free. This is a significant exchange where Penn strongly assumes the lead in the top sections of striking and control.
Left high kick blocked by Penn. Penn stalking; jabbing. Penn lands the jab while Edgar whiffs a combo. Edgar comes in swinging, and it looks like Penn bombs the left-counter and another, but the camera changes angles in mid-flurry. Penn jabs hard, Edgar misses. And again. Penn lands a third clean jab.
Edgar closes the distance and tries to clinch, Penn holds his ground, pushes him away, Edgar's kick on the way out is blocked. Edgar tries the left low kick, and is nailed with a clean counter that noticeably backs him up. Edgar advances, they clinch momentarily, BJ lands a hard knee to the midsection, Edgar tries a throw, but Penn adjusts the angle and shoves him away and almost down to the ground. Edgar's high kick is blocked, as is BJ's counter. The round ends.
It's difficult to fathom that this round could be anything other than 10-9 Penn.
Striking-the judges aren't using FightMetric or Compustrike, so I'm not either. As far as volume of strikes, it's extremely close with maybe a slight edge to Edgar, but sheer volume must be outweighed by the most defining and meaningful sequences, and Penn without question landed the hardest and most significant exchanges: with the early left that caused Edgar to stumble back, the 3 hard uppercuts before shaking off the takedown (which also earned octagon control), and he is basically avoiding more blows and landing with more efficiency.
Control- Although Edgar may be dictating the pace and location with movement and arguably "creating more striking opportunities", I don't see how the more tangible actions of Penn twice refusing the takedown and moving straight forward while finding his mark should be outweighed by Edgar's frenetic shuffling and circling. One contains ingredients that do damage and have bearing on who is manipulating where the fight takes place (standing vs. on the ground), the other is simply rapid change of individual location.
Also, BJ already has a large welt under his left eye, which perhaps swayed the judges to favor Edgar in striking, as "significance" of strikes is directly correlated to damage; but this matter of perception, although apparently congruent with the rules, stands in contrast with Penn's distinguishable advantage for scoring more often with more forceful blows, and snaring control for thwarting the takedown
Edgar opens with the left low kick, and it only grazes as does Penn's left. Missed right low kick by Edgar. Edgar connects moderately with a left to the body. Penn lands a left hook, Edgar shoots for a single that BJ counters, both throw a punch on the break. Penn takes the early lead for control, and has landed the cleaner shots by a tight margin.
Penn jabs and ducks a wild Edgar flurry. Edgar leg kick checked. A burst of strikes that appears to have Penn landing a little better, but it's tough to see. Penn lands the jab, and again, now scoring with a stout left hook when Edgar 1-2's, and finally again on the break. BJ stalking Edgar, clearly the aggressor and finding his target. Edgar backs Penn up with a combo that lands moderately. Edgar lunges for the single and drops it to throw a right, both negated/avoided by Penn's footwork. More control for Penn, along with more momentum in effective defense.
Halfway through the round, Edgar is again busier, throwing more, and moving more, but Penn's strikes are more efficient, cleaner, harder, and his movement is engaging the action and pressing. Penn in strong control of all categories once again at the round's median.
Left high kick blocked by Penn, both feinting, then Penn connects with a solid straight right to the body. Both pawing, then Penn cracks Edgar with a short left, quick right, and crisp left hook, then a jab after Edgar moves away. More evidence of Penn landing the cleaner shots while moving forward leading up the 2:00 minute mark.
Penn again presses with a left hook/right straight that connects with medium impact. Edgar lunges forward with a 3-punch sequence that BJ avoids and answers with a clean left to the face. Left body kick by Edgar blocked. Clean flurry landed again by BJ, then Edgar counters a BJ flurry with a left hook, and advances with a decent combo. Low kick checked by Penn. Edgar lands a decent charging combo, and is picking up a little momentum.
Edgar gets tagged with a jab after whiffing, lands a right low kick, and then ducks the left hook and throws BJ down for a legit takedown; however BJ is back up as quickly as he was down, and greets the charging Edgar with another series of uppercuts when Edgar tries to capitalize. They take the center of the cage with 30 seconds left. Edgar's LHK avoided, but a left sneaks through during the next exchange. Penn still stalking, Edgar moving in and out, and a sequence at the buzzer looks to end with Edgar's left as the only decent shot.
Striking-Very close round. Penn was clearly in control and landing better for the majority of the round, but late, Edgar comes on strong and gets the better of a few exchanges before the "flash takedown". Penn seemed to have already landed a higher quantity and quality of strikes, even though Edgar may have had the slight edge in the last minute.
My interpretation is that Penn landed the cleaner and stronger shots by a close margin, and was in control for the bulk of the round. I give Penn the striking by a hair, but I can see how maybe Edgar's thrust near the end of the round could have swayed the judges; especially if they award the secondary category of control his way because of the takedown.
Control-I believe this is where the vote is extremely subjective. Does Edgar win, because he took BJ down for an instant? How is the unsuccessful single leg attempt, that could have been a fake to set up the punch by Edgar, scored? As control for BJ, or as creating more opportunities and being aggressive for Edgar? How much, if any, does the insignificance of the "flash takedown" weigh-in when compared to a solid double-leg and maintaining ground control? How much does Penn's immediate return to his feet neutralize the takedown?
My interpretation is that a quick trip that puts a fighter on his ass for a fraction of a second simply doesn't warrant a big sway in any direction, meaning the round emphasis is on the results of the striking.
Aggression- clearly Penn for the first 3 minutes, and then probably Edgar for the last minute or minute and a half. Perhaps the flash takedown steered this towards Edgar, which holds water.
Defense: Penn. "Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks." Penn's actions simply fit this description better than Edgar's.
Summary: cageside, I very well may have ruled this round a draw. Striking- close, slight edge to BJ, Edgar finished strong. Control- close, BJ resists the takedown, then is taken down for a second, but gets back up and lands blows after he'd dictated action for the bulk of the round. Aggression- Penn for more of the round, but Edgar towards the end. Defense: Penn.
When things are this even, I think we can expect and accept a 10-9 for either fighter or a 10-10 score.
Uneventful combinations for the first 30 seconds, but Penn advancing. Edgar lands a stiff jab. Penn marching forward and throwing hard blows while Edgar retreats, although most are blocked or don't land solidly. BJ slips a punch and does connect with a 1-2 strong enough to be considered the best standing strikes thus far. Edgar misses, then gets hit with a left counter twice. Penn jab connects, Edgar's doesn't.
Edgar comes in and punches air before dropping levels, either for a takedown or a fake, which is thwarted by Penn's stiff left. High activity from Edgar with no tangible benefit. Penn cracks him with a hard left. Edgar kicks to the body, BJ blocks and tags him. No question BJ's up on the cards now. Another sequence where Edgar charges and misses with 3 punches while BJ easily avoids and counters with success.
Mid-point of the round--Penn, no question, although it's not lopsided.
Penn jabs, Edgar fakes and responds with one of his own. Edgar lands with the second of two punches, BJ does the exact same with his 2-punch counter. More stalemate flurries, Edgar's left high-kick is blocked, Penn lands a clean jab after evading 2 of 3 punches, the last a jab that connects soft. Edgar scores with a low kick, ducks under Penn's jab,and shoots--BJ stops it.
Penn advances and clocks him with a right/left. At 1:23, Edgar now has more success with his incoming hooks, while BJ misses with his responses. Edgar fakes a takedown and throws a fluent high kick that looks great and gets Goldie and Rogan excited, but Penn actually easily defends and blocks it. BJ cleaner with left hook/right uppercut/left hook, then a stiff jab, then Edgar ducks the next jab and pursues a leg. BJ hops backward and plants a knee to the body (knee #2, Compustrike). Edgar pops up and scores to the body, then BJ scores when Edgar comes in again. Two sequences that are insignificant, then Penn finds the left counter as the ten-second signal sounds. Edgar's low kick is checked, and Penn charges forward with aggressive intentions but can't unleash anything as the horn sounds.
Striking- although this round had the appearance of being close, it really wasn't. My initial scoring when I first watched this was that Edgar may have won this round, but I think it's clear that the glam of Edgar's frenzied movement and pace and his intelligent trend of coming on strong late in the round leaves a strong impression for him... but a review of the details shows Penn being in control of the striking exchanges by avoiding more punches, landing more often as well as more effectively throughout the larger portion of the round.
Control- Could be perceived as close, but clearly Penn. He was constantly moving forward, and whether they were fakes or not, Edgar pursued two takedowns that were defended and successfully countered with legit strikes.
Even though it doesn't even factor in since Penn took the highest two categories, he should also get the effective aggression and effective defense (key word: effective)
So far, my scoring is 3-0 Penn, with conceivable possibilities for 2-1 Penn, or a round apiece with the 2nd being a draw.
We again see a repeat of Edgar's right/left hook vs. BJ's right/left hook counter--this time Edgar wins the opening exchange by a hair, but again, hard to tell. Edgar's body kick is greeted with the left, both look to connect with mild force. Penn definitely engaging with more forward motion and pressing. Another instance where Edgar drops levels, and it's indiscernible if it's a legit shot or a fake, but again, Penn holds his ground and shellacks him with a left. Penn opens up as the aggressor, maintaining control, and landing better, but it's only a half-minute in.
Ambiguous exchange, then Penn lands a hard right low kick. Edgar jab and Penn counter both miss. Penn starts to threaten with the right uppercut when Edgar drops levels. Now, Edgar pressing forward a little with BJ backing up. Penn retakes the center, but Edgar walks him backwards with a good combo that seems to land because BJ drops his hands to defend a takedown that doesn't come.
At 3:30, Edgar may now be assuming the aggressor and landing better and more often. Instead of keeping him on the end of his jab, Penn lets Edgar get much closer than he has previously with no offense to back him up. Edgar fires a right that hits the body. Penn comes forward, but doesn't let his hands go. Another quick single-leg attempt that Penn just retreats from and pushes Edgar away with no counter. Penn's output seems to be slowing, but then he unveils the right/left that lands decently. Edgar responds with a right low kick that is partially checked, but lands on BJ's upper thigh with a thud.
High kick by Edgar misses, Penn hits the left counter, then smacks with a jab. Penn's perimeter of punches has shrunk, and Edgar is pressing with 3- and 4-punch combos that BJ isn't timing and countering nearly as well. Halway through, Edgar is edging the striking. More output, more pressure, less forward movement, activity, and offensive/defensive punches from BJ. Even though BJ pushed away the single leg attempt, now Edgar's movement is effective, as it's genuinely creating more opportunities that he's capitalizing on.
Penn's jab has lost it's snap, his counter is a second slow. Edgar is more effective with more punches, although they don't all land with significant force, but it's more than BJ is exhibiting. BJ is also more flat-footed and seemingly a step slower than Edgar in everything. Penn finds his jab once. Penn then pops a short right to Edgar's chin, then threatens with the jab like he was earlier.
Edgar is relentless, and BJ's reduction in tenacity and movement is evident, and a sequence occurs where Edgar throws a body kick that is partially blocked, ducks Penn's left, and scurries him backwards under the guise of a takedown while timing a half-flying left knee that doesn't really do anything, but appears to turn the tide in his favor. Again, it's not hugely effective, but more so than Penn's minute defensive counters, of which only a few have landed recently.
Penn's jab has visibly lost steam, but only as compared to earlier in the fight- it's still effective, just not as much. Edgar again has mild success with the incoming 1-2, and Penn does catch him with the left, but it's slower and with less oomph. (Could this be a perception issue? Is Penn looking ineffective, but really only less effective than earlier?) Penn's 1-2 looks noticeably sloppier, but still makes contact (although mostly blocked) and causes Edgar to hesitate.
I have to re-watch the short sequence above 4 different times to determine who gets the better of it, and although it looks like Penn, it's still hard to tell. I believe Penn's incipient reduction in vivacity makes Edgar's striking look more effective than it actually is because it's exacting at the same clip as in the first round. Edgar hits the jab, BJ whiffs. Penn lands a low kick, but Edgar's emphasis on the responding overhand right standout more, even though it was adequately blocked. The round ends with BJ's jab, but Edgar's more enthusiastic counter.
*****Perception is the biggest influence here. Originally, I scored the first 2 for BJ, and thought Edgar's momentum earned the later rounds. Re-watching in ridiculous detail, Penn gets the 3rd convincingly, and the 4th is much closer than I first thought. I believe just because BJ is noticeably slower with his jab, his combinations, his output, and his movement,
that the actual landing of the strikes is overshadowed by the vigor and liveliness of Edgar********
Striking- The point of this exercise is to determine if the judges' scoring was understandable. It took devouring every exchange with my nose pressed against my computer screen and (literally) rewinding each exchange and watching it 3-5 times to extract who won each sequence. Even dissecting each second, the round was extremely close, and I would probably score this for Edgar. Most importantly, I think the perception of Edgar's exuberance and Penn slowing a step would clearly steer anyone watching the fight casually at home or live sitting ringside towards Edgar.
Control- No matter the format or potential for skewed perception, I think Edgar earned the nod outright this time, and this would also steer the round towards an outright point for Edgar. Aggression and defense are again insignificant because the top two criterion have been satisfied, but I would've given them to Edgar as well.
At this point, my score is 3-1 Penn, with an open ear to 2-1-1, and slightly tolerant (but not agreeing with) all being even going into the final frame.
Edgar jogs out and flurries while Penn plods out and blocks. Edgar tags him with a straight right. Penn advances with a good flurry but misses, Edgar does the same. At 4:37, Penn lands with his counter, but Edgar now secures the leg and puts Penn completely on his back. Obviously, this puts him in the driver's seat for the round unless Penn can outperform this feat, while the incident begs clarification on whether the takedown counts as more, or all was equalized because Edgar couldn't maintain control and Penn got back up quickly. In my opinion, the aggressor who takes his opponent down successfully deserves more points for offense and imposing his will then the fighter who puts forth effort just to return where he was before the takedown. One is offense, the other defense.
Both jab, then ineffective flurries for both. Rogan now brings up a great point that BJ's face is dented up much more than Edgar, and coupled with him being a gear slower, this could have a huge impact on the judges and their perception of the fight versus the detailed scoring guidelines.
BJ is still slower, Edgar is just as fast or faster than before. Edgar snaps a head kick, it's blocked, but the excitement and action seems to be all Edgar. He keeps swarming, and lands a soft jab, but BJ's counter is painfully slow and just looks bad. BJ throws a hard right, but it doesn't land and looks ugly. Penn lands a medium-strength leg kick, they break, Edgar lands one of his own that just stands out more due to the Energizer Bunny factor. Weird exchange where Edgar seems to want to clinch, BJ ducks, but the counter doesn't come and Edgar backs off and throws a refreshed looking combo with a ton of snap, but it doesn't really do much. Again, Edgar's activity is now putting him in control. Both men pawing.
At the halfway point, a great right hand lands hard for Edgar. A stiff jab snaps Penn's head back during a flurry. These are now legit strikes that put him up on the card regardless of any perception. These are factual, tangible results. Penn fakes the left hook and throws a right high kick that is easily blocked, and again Penn looks sluggish; Edgar fresh. Now, Edgar charges for a takedown that looks deflated, and Penn easily retreats and pushes him away--although there is no offense in response, meaning that Edgar's aggression, early takedown, and pressure for another registers his aggression as effective and earns him control points.
Another takedown, this time Penn fires an uppercut that's a legit threat, but looks labored. Edgar pops with a left, double jab with not a lot doing, Penn telegraphs a right that's blocked, then Edgar mixes a low kick with two punches that all look to score, while Penn's counters hit nothing. Penn throws punches that seem half-speed and power. Edgar bouncing, lands a right, BJ responds evenly with a punch. Edgar pressing, throwing more punches, no one is landing. Edgar more active, throws a leg kick that's checked. Penn then cracks Edgar with a right. Rogan is dead-on saying that Edgar hasn't lost a step, while BJ is now moving slow and his counters are seconds too late after Edgar advances.
However, Penn did just land solidly, and then lands a body shot counter, suddenly Penn hits to the body again, stuffs another of these half-assed takedowns (that are very visually swaying, but ineffective, therefore BJ shouldn't fairly receive a ton of credit for avoiding it), and Penn gets the better of the next combo. It sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but the sequences of the fight are contradictory. With 30 seconds left, Penn is breathing hard, moving and punching much slower, but he's still in the fight. This is what we normally see in a 5-round fight, except Edgar is still chugging along at the same pace he had in the 1st. Still, the striking is close with maybe a slight edge to Edgar, with the takedown earlier giving him the round so far. Now Penn advances, throws some hard shots, and grabs Edgar and plants a hard knee to the body for staying still. They clinch as the bell sounds.
Striking- close again. More volume of punches that land for Edgar, and they are legit punches, but Penn still seemed to land harder but with much less frequency. I think the striking was closer than it appeared, skewed by Edgar's movement, but I would give Edgar this last round. This is a gray area, as Penn only had a small handful of punches that landed "significantly", and Edgar out-pointed him with not as much impact, but with decent contact and a lot more of them. I don't buy the argument that a few punches that crack louder count more than more overall effective striking enforcement, and the latter is what Edgar did in the closing frame.
Control- Edgar wins due to the enthusiastic takedown, which outweigh BJ's avoidance of the other "half-takedowns", which were not fully committed shots.
1. Compustrike and FightMetric are not tremendously relevant here. The vast majority of the encounters were closely contested enough and so blindingly fast that simply counting the overall number of strikes would not tell the complete story by any means; as the force with which they land, and how thoroughly each strike connects is nearly impossible to determine from watching the fight (even when reviewing exchanges four and five times). The difficulty in counting strikes and gauging impact accurately with the human eye is just as open to subjectivity as everything else in MMA judging. Also, a cumulative tally of strikes doesn't shed any light on who won each exchange, which strikes were offensive and defensive (as this influences several of the categories).
3. Even though in the early rounds, Penn accumulated the points throughout the bigger chunk of the frame, the way Edgar finished with spirited flair clearly showed the importance of "finishing the round strong", and how the judges could easily, and perhaps understandably, be swayed by it.
4. Originally, I thought the tide might have turned in the 3rd round, but couldn't say with certainty; I scored the 3rd confidently for Penn when re-watching. The perception of Edgar's
activity was a huge influence over the actual results in this round.
5. It has taken me over six hours just to establish the raw data, and another few to analyze and interpret each significant sequence in this five-round, twenty-five minute fight. This intense and microscopic evaluation is night and day compared to watching the fight live through the cage. One of the most important points is that I feel it's taken me over 480 minutes to accurately determine who won according to the rules, where the judges get--what, maybe a minute between rounds, and then 3-4 minutes after the fight ends? If this extraordinary level of speed, engagement, and furious action is maintained throughout the bout, much like Shogun/Machida, our society's advanced level of technology must be implemented... otherwise we, as fans and critics, must judge the fight with the same realistic constraints and challenges that the judges we're criticizing are faced with to remain on a level playing field.
My conclusion is that this fight was dynamic, unique enough, and required such intrinsic scrutiny that it logically and conceivably warrants almost any outcome as acceptable--except for 50-45 for Edgar.