UFC 115 will be officiated by familiar faces, including some Octagon veterans.
will referee Saturday’s night main event between former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell
and former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The three judges assigned to the bout are Sal D'Amato of Wisconsin, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton of California and Bill Mahood
of British Columbia.
Vancouver Athletic Commission chairman Mirko Mladenovic confirmed the assignments to Sherdog.com on Tuesday.
The refereeing roster for the event will also include Quebec's Yves Lavigne, as well as local Vancouver referees Kevin Dornan and Tony Williamson. Three other judges will score Saturday night's card: Tony Weeks of Nevada and two other B.C. fighters-turned-judges, Chris Franco
and Lance Gibson
"I am particularly proud of my judges all of whom do have a history of judging bouts, primarily amateur or pro-am. All of them are former fighters," said Mladenovic of the local officials. "This is the first UFC where the fighters will be judged by their peers. The most important part of judging is understanding what you are looking at, and these men understand the sport very well."
Mahood, Franco and Gibson are all pioneers for MMA in western Canada as fighters, trainers and activists. Mahood is perhaps best known for his June 2005 UFC bout against Forrest Griffin
, while Gibson himself is a two-time UFC veteran, having fought Jermaine Andre
and the late Evan Tanner
in the Octagon in 2000.
"As you can see all of our judges come from Pankration,” said Mladenovic. “This is also reflected in every aspect of our sanctioning party right down to the inspectors in the back room who come from every major gym in the lower mainland."
Dean's selection as the main event referee comes as little surprise. One of MMA's most acclaimed officials, Dean draws main event duties for a plethora of major North American MMA cards, especially UFC events.
Hamilton is one of MMA's most experienced judges and has been a staple of major MMA events in Nevada and California for years. However, it is worth noting that Hamilton did turn in scorecards for Lyoto Machida
over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
last October, and Leonard Garcia
over Chan Sung Jung
this past April, making him a part of the two most unpopular decisions the sport has seen as of late.
D'Amato has quickly become a preferred judge, especially by Zuffa, as of late. D'Amato has steadily started to log bigger assignments in Nevada as well as international UFC cards, and was selected as one of the three judges to preside over the Machida-Rua rematch in Montreal last May.
Mahood recently retired from active competition and has become involved in the regulatory side of the sport in British Columbia, starting the MMA Association of British Columbia (MMABC), the province's amateur sanctioning body. This will be the first major assignment for the 10-year MMA vet, whose resume thus far is comprised largely of local amateur and pro cards.
Below are a list of notable scorecards turned in by D'Amato and Hamilton. Mahood is excluded, due to the lack of notable bouts judged. The cross-section of scorecards is intended to show their judgments in fights that were seen as particularly close, contentious or controversial.
30-27 over Javier Vazquez
29-28 over Jeff Curran
29-28 over Jake Ellenberger
29-28 over Brandon Vera
29-28 over Jon Madsen
29-28 over Tom Lawlor
48-47 over B.J. Penn
29-28 over Nick Osipczak
Nelson “Doc” Hamilton:
29-28 over Renato Verissimo
29-29 over Vitor Belfort
Georges St. Pierre
29-28 over B.J. Penn
29-28 over Keith Jardine
29-29 draw with Josh Burkman
29-28 over Nate Diaz
29-28 over Cheick Kongo
29-29 over Scott Jorgensen
29-28 over Melvin Guillard
48-47 over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
29-28 over Chan Sung Jung
Below are the refereeing and judging assignments for the full UFC 115 undercard:
vs. Mike Pyle
-- Referee: Kevin Dornan, Judges: Lance Gibson
, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, Bill Mahood.
vs. Ricardo Funch
-- Referee: Tony Williamson, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Chris Franco
, Tony Weeks.
vs. James Wilks
-- Referee: Kevin Dornan, Judges: Chris Franco, Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton.
vs. David Loiseau
-- Referee: Tony Williamson, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Chris Franco, Bill Mahood.
vs. Mac Danzig
-- Referee: Yves Lavigne, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Bill Mahood, Tony Weeks.
vs. Tyson Griffin
-- Referee: Herb Dean, Judges: Chris Franco, Lance Gibson, Tony Weeks.
vs. Carlos Condit
-- Referee: Kevin Dornan, Judges: Sal D'Amato, Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton.
vs. Ben Rothwell
-- Referee: Yves Lavigne, Judges: Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, Bill Mahood, Tony Weeks.
vs. Paulo Thiago
-- Referee: Herb Dean, Judges: Sal D’Amato, Chris Franco, Tony Weeks.
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
vs. Patrick Barry
-- Referee: Yves Lavigne, Judges: Lance Gibson, Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, Tony Weeks.