MMA  > General MMA  > Experiment could revolutionize MMA judging
July 11, 2011, 04:16 PM
Most of the controversial decisions are based on a fighter being lucky on close rounds. Lyoto Machida vs. Quinton ???Rampage??? Jackson at UFC 123 was the last UFC main event to fall into this category, where after the fight, reporters??? consensus was that Machida was the obvious winner of the fight, but that given the 10-point must system in place, the win by Jackson was the correct verdict.

It???s the inherent weakness of a system where almost every round is scored 10-9, no matter how close or how dominant it is. Virtually no rounds are scored 10-10, although judges are technically allowed to do so. Unless you dominate the round from start-to-finish and have your opponent just about finished, you are unlikely to get a 10-8 score.

Since the start of 2011, California has experimented with a half-point scoring system on its amateur shows, both to get feedback from its judges, and also to compile statistics. At the end of the year, when the stats are done, the findings will be presented to people like Marc Ratner, the vice-president for regulatory affairs at the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the Association of Boxing Commissioners, to see if the system has more merit than the one in place.

Instead of always writing 10-9 on a scorecard unless there is a completely dominant round with a near finish, you have more options. A 10-9.5 is for a close round, like rounds one and three in Siver vs. Wiman, and rounds one and two in Jackson vs. Machida ??? both fights in which the person who ended up losing in the current system would most likely have won with the new system.

A 10-9 would be the score for a round that is competitive, but, you have no doubt who won. That is still the score that comes up most of the time with the new system. A 10-8.5 would be for a round where one fighter dominated, but didn???t do enough for a 10-8, notably round two in Wiman vs. Siver, and round three in Machida vs. Jackson.

A 10-8 would be similar to how it is currently used, and you???d even have a 10-7.5 for something more dominant than a normal 10-8 round, but for whatever reason, the fight isn???t stopped.

The new system also includes a fourth judge whose lone job is to award points based on criteria. If the three judges come out to a draw, which has happened six times so far this year, a winner is determined based on a points system.

The system is four points for a knockdown, two for damaging strikes, one for a takedown, one for a sweep, two for grappling into a dominant position (back, mount or side control), and four for a near submission.

So far this year, 155 amateur fights in California have gone to a decision under these new rules. Of those, six, or 4 percent, had different winners based on half-point judging than they would have based on the current system. But there were 17 instances where one judge out of the three had a different winner based on half-points that he would have based on the current system.

The big fear going into the year is the new system would result in more draws, which is why the fourth tie-breaker judge was put in place. Thus far with the half-point system, the number of fights that ended in a draw before going to the tie breaker was 3.8 percent. With the tie-breaker criteria, while a draw is still a possibility if the fighters end up even on points, that would virtually never happen in practice. So far in 2011, 2.4 percent of UFC fights have ended up as draws.
July 11, 2011  04:17 PM ET

I had to edit the article down so heres the link

http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/news;_ylt=Ah2D3CdvVB5lBpMQcucCYGs9Eo14?slug=dm -meltzer_mma_judges_scoring_071111

July 11, 2011  04:18 PM ET

I thinks this system may actually work. If we cant get judges for mma, and are stuck with just boxing judges then this sounds like a good idea. I would love to see the stats at the end of the year

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July 11, 2011  04:19 PM ET

I thinks.....sorry got to read before submitting

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July 11, 2011  04:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Here's the problem. What classifies a 10-9.5 round, or a 10-9 round? How do judges differentiate the two?

I dont think its about classifying that difference as giving boxing judges more opinions so that the end result is correct when compared to the "eye test"

July 11, 2011  04:23 PM ET

opinions i mean options

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July 11, 2011  04:32 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

How would you score the Maynard-Edgar 2nd fight under the new score change? Same as me?

I honestly couldnt tell you round by round....I would have to go back and watch the fight again

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July 11, 2011  05:47 PM ET

I think adding in the .5 could make things even more complicated than they are. The problem isnt the scoring system, its the judges giving the scores. They need to either train the judges on what to look for or get people who know what their doing. I noticed the fourth judge in the new system still doesnt give any points or credit for guys that escape take downs or ground control. There is a reason why in wrestling you get points for escaping. The same should be done with MMA.

July 11, 2011  06:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

I think adding in the .5 could make things even more complicated than they are. The problem isnt the scoring system, its the judges giving the scores. They need to either train the judges on what to look for or get people who know what their doing. I noticed the fourth judge in the new system still doesnt give any points or credit for guys that escape take downs or ground control. There is a reason why in wrestling you get points for escaping. The same should be done with MMA.

Good point Pete. My only question is...When have you heard the commission actually say that they are wrong? In there eyes, they are perfect. therefore I think the training of the judges for mma will never happen

July 11, 2011  06:01 PM ET

wrong there....should be their

July 11, 2011  11:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Good point Pete. My only question is...When have you heard the commission actually say that they are wrong? In there eyes, they are perfect. therefore I think the training of the judges for mma will never happen

That is true, they've never admitted a judges error, just a system error.

July 12, 2011  02:34 AM ET

I'm a big fan of Hamilton's Half-Point system.

I think that it is ultimately the better than the ten point must, and eventually needs to be implemented.

The bigger problem with judging now, however, remains judges scoring rounds for the entirely wrong fighter. A half point must, for instance, would not have won Nam Phan the Leonard Garcia fight. It would not have won Shogun his first fight with Machida, nor Cerrone the first fight with Ben Henderson.

I think if the half point system were to be implemented now, we would only be giving Adaley Bird and Cecil Peoples a finer gradient to score things incorrectly.

July 12, 2011  02:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

When have you heard the commission actually say that they are wrong?

Have you ever heard any branch of government say they were wrong?

:)

 
July 12, 2011  06:14 AM ET

I think the whole judging system needs to be revamped.

First- Start with the judges. Get rid of just strictly boxing judges. They have no clue on how to judge a MMA match.

2nd- Re do the values placed on certain aspects of the fight. Right now a fighter receives way too much for takedowns. Too much value is placed on takedowns. A fighter can take another fighter down and get points, but if the fighter that got taken down gets right back up without taking any damage he doesn't receive any points in the judges eyes. Right now MMA is too wrestling favored!!!

I am not interested in paying to watch Clay Guida dry hump a man for 3 rds for a decision win.

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