It was the most shocking thing I had seen all year, moreso than watching Machida fighting Rampage for three rounds… or any fight with Machida that goes the distance these days. At M-1 Challenge 22, Pat Bennett fought Alexander Volkov for three rounds in Russia, dominating the fight with superior wrestling and striking, but with all of those tools Bennett was unable to finish his opponent. The match went to the judges, who ruled it… a draw, requiring a fourth round to determine a clear winner. Volkov, barely able to even walk, was practically pushed out of his corner for the bonus round, looking worse than he had the previous three rounds. With a fourth round over and Bennett still unable to make his opponent quit, the judges ruled one more time, and again ruled the fight a draw. Viewers who had seen the fight were disgusted by the incredibly biased judging of M-1’s ethnocentric ringside observers, as was Bennett and Team Bombsquad, who appealed the poor decision which was easily the worst of 2010.
With the appeal process set into action, the bout was dissected by a special IMA judging panel that has re-scored the fight and have submitted their ruling; at the recommendation of head IMA judge, Ino Alberga, and the IMA panel, the decision in Pat Bennett’s one-sided battle has been overturned with the win being rightfully awarded to Bennett after three rounds.
According to M-1 Global’s Director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan, “The appeal process is in place to provide fighter’s an avenue to request a review of highly controversial decisions and Bennett’s appeal was extremely warranted. Although the overturning of a decision is rare, the independent IMA panel and it’s head judge felt it necessary to alter the outcome based on Bennett’s takedowns, ground control and aggression.”
Heavyweight contender Pat Bennett now officially improves his record to 4-2 and was appreciative of the appeal process’ outcome. “It feels great to have this weight lifted off my shoulders. I was encouraged to submit the appeal but I knew it was going to be a tough, lengthy process and that having a decision overturned is quite rare. It’s incredible to have a process in place for this type of situation and to get what I deserved… I have no fear of fighting overseas and am hoping the next opportunity to fight in Russia comes quickly.” Bennett also noted that he would be more apt to finish fights, but is not worried in the future about going the distance. Hopefully, this affects the criteria for all Russian judges, in that being Russian doesn’t mean you can survive a fight barely and earn a draw.