It had been reported earlier that one of the judges for the UFC on FOX 7 main event had ties to fighter Gilbert Melendez. The judge in question, Wade Vierra, and the California State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Andy Foster defended their decision to allow Vierra to judge the fight. Vierra is an instructor at a Cesar Gracie affiliate school, Cesar of course coaches both Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez. Vierra who has a relationship with Diaz informed the commission of that relationship and due to conflict of interest was not in the consideration to judge his fight. Vierra however says he does not have any relationship with Melendez separate from the affiliation he has with his coach Cesar Gracie. Andy Foster talks about the need to have qualified judges in MMA to avoid some of the bogus decisions we have seen in the past and with Vierra’s knowledge of both grappling and striking he fits that bill. With MMA being such a small community people who are in the same region of the country are bound to have some type of connection. The fact that Vierra scored the fight for Melendez is hardly controversial since the fight was so close and many people agree that Gilbert should have won. It is important to keep any conflict of interest with judges absent but it is also very important to have competent judges, which we all know are not as common as we would like. Hard to tell if Vierra’s connection to Cesar Gracie affected his scoring at all but either way Ben Henderson won the fight and it deserved to be a split decision. Thanks to MMA Weekly for the scope.