Image source: James Krause Instagram (@thejameskrause)
Most people scored the bout 29-28 one way or the other and Soliz turned in a 29-28 scorecard himself. However, on closer inspection, the rounds that Soliz scored for Giles is where the issues arise. Soliz gave the first round to Giles despite Krause controlling a significant portion of the round with dominant back control and several submission attempts.
TSN reporter Aaron Bronsteter revealed yesterday that there could have been a potential conflict of interest for Joe Soliz as Soliz received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Giles’ head coach Eric Williams at the Elite MMA gym. Furthermore, Soliz began training at Elite MMA in the 1990’s and was even an instructor for the gym in the early 2000’s.
TSN also received a response from Soliz on the potential issue who maintains that it’s not a big deal as he hasn’t been in contact with the gym for over eight years.
“Under Eric Williams of Elite MMA, I received my black belt in 2008. I left Elite in 2010, and received my first, second, and third-degree under Octavio Couto.
I haven’t been in contact or associated with Elite MMA in over eight years.”
Giles’ head coach Williams also commented on the situation with a slightly more understanding view stating that if it’s possible to avoid it then it’s for the best, but MMA is a small world and these things happen.
“I’ve known Joe for years; I haven’t talked to him in probably a year and a half or two years. The problem is it’s kind of a small world, so you get people crossing paths and I think that you’re going to have stuff like that happen. Whenever you can prevent it, I would. But again, I don’t worry about it. If you finish the fight, you don’t have to worry about those kinds of things. I really don’t concern myself with it.”
James Krause has now caught wind of the current situation and released a post via his Instagram account with his thoughts. Krause is deeply frustrated with the situation calling for judges to be held accountable for their decisions.
“If this isn’t the most frustrating shit for me in the world I don’t know what… how is this not a conflict of interest?
Training at someone’s gym for 10+ years and receiving a black belt from the coach corner my opponent.
I no way am I mad I lost the fight, it was close. 1 was mine, 2 was his, and 3 was a toss up. But round 3 was given to me on 2/3 cards. It was round 1 they scored for him. After a take down and almost 4 minutes of back control, not to mention almost finishing the RNC, I don’t know how they would give that round to him.
This sport has been around for too long to not start making changes. I know the Texas State Athletic Commission wont do a damn thing about my fight. They never do but I hope the @ufc, @danawhite, and the state commissions can come together to actually make the judging for OUR sport, not boxing and hold the people doing these jobs accountable.
This is a disgrace to our sport. Not just my fight but multiple examples of incompetence from the same judge.
So frustrated to even read this shit… and remember I lost half my purse because of this guy.”
If there is any positive to come out of the situation it’s that Krause’s manager, Jason House, was already planning to file an appeal against the decision and his case may have just got stronger.
“I was informed that one of the judges of the James Krause versus Trevin Giles bout had a close previous relationship with one of Giles’ coaches. If true, this is deeply concerning. These athletes’ risk and sacrifice too much for there not to be a fair playing field. As we are currently in the appeals process, we are withholding further comment. It is our hope that the appeals process will work as designed and uphold the integrity of our sport.”
Finally, TSN also got a comment from veteran referee turned Bellator commentator John McCarthy who stated that he believes it to be a conflict of interest.
“The judge should have approached the athletic commission, depending on if the executive director is there or a lead inspector, the person that’s in charge of regulating that event at that venue that night.
If they found out while they’re there that this person is cornering someone and they see that they’re assigned to that fight, they should go to the executive director and tell them, ‘I have trained with that person, I have received my black belt from them and I want to recuse myself from this fight.’ Then it’s up to the commission on whether or not they can judge. Most will never allow you to judge a fight when you have that sort of background with a cornerman or fighter.”