With Norman Parke becoming the latest victim of the dreaded “Brazilian split decision” we here at #WHOATV decided to dive a little deeper into the facts and try to answer whether it is possible to win a split decision against a Brazilian fighter in Brazil.
Of the 320 UFC fight cards there have been since 12th November 1993, the UFC has put on 22 Brazilian fight cards ranging from Fight Night cards to UFC on FX and a handful of PPV “numbered shows.”
So of those 22 cards, how many times in fights between a Brazilian fighter and a fighter from anywhere other than Brazil has the split decision gone the way of the home fighter?
Out of the 19 fights that have ended in split decision, the Brazilians have won 11 of them. Looking into those numbers even further, perhaps unsurprisingly the nation who has edged the most split decisions over the Brazilians in Brazil have been the Americans with six wins out of the seven, Denmark and Holland picking up the other two.
Unfortunately for us the, Europe only has two wins with Nicolas Dalby and Hans Stringer. Leon Edwards (British), Norman Parke (Northern Irish), Piotr Hallmann (Polish) & Ross Pearson (British) all have received the heartbreaking message from Bruce Buffer that they have dropped the split decision to their Brazilian opponents.
UFC Fight Night 29 saw the most number of split decisions on a Brazilian card with American Jake Shields topping Brazilian Demian Maia in the main event (48-47, 47-48, 48-47). Earlier in the evening Brazilian Fabio Maldonado beat American Joey Beltran by split decision and Brazil’s Raphael Assuncao defeated American T.J Dillashaw by split decision also.
So is there a curse for non-Brazilian fighters going the distance in Brazil? Well if you have not confidently won all three rounds then be prepared for some disappointment unless you are Brazilian.
In the words of Dana White “Don’t leave it in the hand of the judges” especially if you are in Brazil.