Atzori falls, supporters bewildered after judges’ decision
Diamondback Fighting Championship have since announced the scores were announced incorrectly. The scores were 50-45, 48-47, 50-45, all in favour of Ethan Duniam.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: It was hard to tell who was more shocked.
When ring announcer read the first 50-35 score, an official had to check the scorecard and the referee and fighters looked genuinely surprised.
Hervey Bay's Greg Atzori and Tasmanian Ethan Duniam had just fought five tough five-minute rounds, and many fans had judged the Diamondback Fighting Championship contest as an epic, but tight battle.
The second judge's 48-47 seemed a fair reflection of the bout, which pitted submission specialist Atzori against sharp striker Duniam, who himself had impressive grappling skills to boot.
Jaws dropped when Jimmy White announced the third score, another 50-35.
All three were in favour of the Tasmanian and Duniam became the promotion's first lightweight champion.
Duniam was shocked.
He acknowledged his opponent post-fight, and questioned the judges' scores.
The Tasmanian didn't think he won all five rounds. Commentators were lost for words. Atzori's supporters went from bewildered to livid.
They, like the competitors, the corners, and many fans, could not understand how it could be scored so one-sided.
Atzori, ever the consummate professional, didn't say much after the announcement.
His silence speaks volumes.
The veteran, who has previously said this is his final year in the sport, fought his usual, technical yet unorthodox style.
He is difficult to defend against, his lanky frame compared to that of a tarantula early in his career, a comparison that became his nickname and calling card.
Duniam landed strikes, some clean, some glanced, but still the 30-plus fight veteran came forward.
Those moments won't be as remembered as the scorecard.
Atzori's supporters would accept the loss - you can't take anything away from Duniam - but many believe two scores were not reflective of the fight.