Bruce Buffer's simple, but significant gesture to UFC star didn't go unnoticed
Bruce Buffer often has to be the bearer of bad news.
When there's a dodgy judges' decision in the UFC, more often than not, Bruce Buffer is the one who informs the world. Fortunately, he got to announce the rightful winner of Damir Hadzovic vs Nick Hein at UFC Hamburg, but not before giving the victor a subtle heads up.
In the first round, Hadzovic caused the most damage. His success with the jab was shown on his adversary's face. Hein had a bloody nose and a sizeable haematoma below his right eye going back to his corner. Hadzovic didn't have a single mark on his face.
Hein tried to get more aggressive in the second to try to make up for the reach disadvantage, but Hadzovic made sure he didn't land much. At the mid-way point of the fight, Hein had only landed about one-third of the strikes he had thrown. None of them caused any major problems to 'The Bosnian Bomber'.
At the start of the final round, Hadzovic took a seat on the canvas. Hein countered a poorly-timed low kick with a looping left hand that was blocked. Hadzovic was off balance, so the force of the punch was able to knock him off balance, although it didn't appear to cause any damage.
Turning up the heat
The momentum shifted massively towards Hadzovic about a minute into the round. He almost caught Hein with a seismic knee, but his shin simply glanced off his chest after the German changed levels to land a body punch. Hadzovic then faked a kick with his left leg up the middle before stepping in and landing flush with an inside crescent kick with his right leg. Both fighters smiled widely at each other in acknowledgment of the brilliant strike.
Hadzovic landed the most significant strike of the fight at the halfway point of the third round. Hein was caught leaning in with a stiff right hand that caused his legs to buckle. The stumble actually worked in his favour as the follow-up left hook skimmed his scalp.
— UFC (@ufc) July 22, 2018
After whiffing a couple of shots, Hadzovic pounced on Hein and landed a couple of big punches on the ground before the German was able to stand back up. Sensing that Hein was in trouble, Hadzovic took control of the centre of the Octagon and attempted to cage cut to keep Hein trapped against the fence.
The finish never came, so they went to the judges' scorecards.
"You've got this"
It was a relatively close fight, but Hadzovic was the clear winner. When the veteran voice of the Octagon started making it official, it looked like a routine win for the better man on the night.
"Ladies and gentlemen, after three rounds we go to the judges' scorecards for a decision. Ben Cartlidge scores the contest 29-28 Hadzovic."
Hadzovic actually seemed a little perplexed that the first judge didn't give him every round. Little did he know what was coming next.
"Howard Hughes scores the contest 29-28 Hein."
At this point, the worry began to really set in for Hadzovic. He grimaced in utter confusion and looked back at the ring announcer to make sure his ears weren't deceiving him.
Sensing that Hadzovic was concerned, Buffer gave Hadzovic a signal. Just before he announced Hadzovic as a winner, he winked at him to let him know the good news.
"And Pawel Harasim scores it for the winner by split decision Damir Hadzovic."
What a smooth operator.
That small gesture was really appreciated by fight fans.
UFC Hamburg: Any see Buffer give Hadzovic a wink after he looked back in disgust that one Judge gave it to Hein?
— Art of War (@suntszu) July 22, 2018
Haha we saw that confirmation wink Bruce Buffer 😉 #UFCHamburg
— Farah Hannoun (@Farah_Hannoun) July 22, 2018
Hahaha!! The buffer wink!!
— Zee (@ZeesMMA) July 22, 2018
Bruce buffer with the wink 😉 😉😂#UFCHamburg
— I’ll never be a daisy 🌼 (@jayrose320) July 22, 2018
— The MMA Movement (@themmamovement) July 22, 2018
The result saw Hadzovic improve to 12-4, 2-2 in the UFC. Meanwhile, Hein (14-1-1NC, 4-3 UFC) has dropped consecutive losses for the first time in his career.