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BJ Penn Says the Way to Fix MMA is Get Rid of the Judges and Make Decisions Draws for Both Opponents

(Video courtesy of YouTube/

BJ Penn has a simple answer to boring fights and skewed judges’ decisions: Get rid of the belts and get rid of the judges.

“I definitely think the way to make it exciting is get rid of the belts and get rid of the judges first thing, right off the bat. If anything goes to a decision, it should be an automatic draw. The only way you can win a fight is by finishing your guy and the only way you can lose is by getting finished.”

Sure, Beej may be tooting a different horn if he hadn’t lost the majority of his career pinnacle fights against guys like GSP and Frankie Edgar by decision, but he didn’t.

Under BJ’s proposed rule changes, he would have a 13-2-10 record, which would make him one of the mid-level fighters as far as pay goes in the UFC according to his next bit of logic.

You put all of the fighters with the most draws at the bottom of the pay scale, you put all of the guys with the least losses and the least draws at the top of the pay scale and you fill it down accordingly. No one will want to go to a decision. No one will try to fight for points because you can’t win unless you finish a guy and then we’ll really find out who the best is.”

Here’s an example of who BJ would consider the worst paid to best paid in the UFC based on their number of decisions, or “BJ Draws”:

Jon Fitch: 11 BJ Draws
Josh Koscheck: 9 BJ Draws
Georges St-Pierre: 9 BJ Draws
BJ Penn: 8 BJ Draws
Lyoto Machida: 6 BJ Draws
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: 6 BJ Draws
Mike Swick: 5 BJ Draws
Anderson Silva: 2 BJ Draws
Frank Mir: 2 BJ Draws
Jon Jones: 2 BJ Draws
Cain Velasquez: 1 BJ Draw
Shane Carwin: 1 BJ Draw

Jon Jones and Shane Carwin would make bank under these proposed guidelines.

Really then, any fighter making his UFC debut has the chance to become one of the highest paid fighters with a finish win if you go by BJ’s logic. Hopefully the UFC doesn’t give him a job in the office handing out bonuses when he retires. Otherwise the promotion will go bankrupt fast.




Cagepotato Comments

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Bearded Beast- July 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm
Find a way to get judging out of the picture, one way or another. To win, you have to STOP your opponent, not impress someone with your points. Let the judges work on American Idol where they belong.
GrandShamrock- July 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm
Fuck, this idea is awesome, really. I mean, two guys fight, and no one wins, but 3 guys say who won, so automatically that guy wins... that makes no sense. I don't know why on paper wins the fight the one that fought better, cos he went to the judges, so, in reality, he didn't win, i don't know why a KO or Submission count as a win just like decisions do, i mean, they are two complete different things, yet they count as equals in someones record.
mattymac723- July 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm
why not just eliminate split decisions? To win you have to win all three rounds, knockout, or submit. Split would be a draw for both fighters
rampage01- July 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm
I would love to see jon fitch fight for 1 hour
Fried Taco- July 6, 2011 at 7:56 am
Or before the start of each round, both fighters have to enter a captcha. Whoever gets it wrong loses.
Fried Taco- July 6, 2011 at 7:55 am
I think if the fight goes to the end without a finish, they should just put up a big "To Be Continued..." sign and have them fight again on another card. They just keep fighting until someone finally wins.
Sloppyspray- July 6, 2011 at 6:27 am
Isn't there more to this video? (Or maybe it's another one) But I thought BJ proposed that the win bonus pay structure should be dependent upon finishing your opponent, which I can get down with.

Basically, if you finish your opponent you get 100% win bonus if you don't you get 25% or something like that. (He said 100% for Rd.1, 75% Rd.2, 50% Rd.3 finish, 25% decision win, but to me a finish in the first is just as good as one in the third)
Enricho Palazzo- July 6, 2011 at 5:06 am
@ DRU_P: "Why, I could wallop you all day with this surgical two-by-four and without ever knocking you down.....but I've got other appointments."
Enricho Palazzo- July 6, 2011 at 5:04 am
I'm just glad the Casey Anthony trial is over so Cecil Peoples can get back to botching MMA verdicts.
Get Off Me- July 5, 2011 at 9:26 pm
Generally sporting fans like finality in a contest. Throwing draws down instead of wins and loses would not serve the sport's grow moving forward.
The real fix is in establishing better rules inside the octagon that lend themselves to finality in a fight. Restarts for not advancing position on the ground inside 60 seconds is a start. The Judging needs to be more transparent, generally the confusion comes when fights enter the grappling realm of MMA, if judges are instructed on how to score grappling i.e. Wiman holding onto a single leg for 2 minutes while being slapped on the side of the head does not mean Wiman is winning those two minutes in the round..... The most popular sport on the planet can afford ties, other sports trying to grow cannot.
djp1988- July 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm
Damn, BJ loves him some hand gestures.
SKK BB- July 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm
i've had this thought before (without the pay scale part) and i have to say it's a brilliant idea and i'm glad BJ has put it out there. forget the pay scale component. each fighter will be marketable to some degree and the pay will correspond. they can negotiate and sign contracts in the same exact way that they do now. you'll have more or less negotiating leverage depending on your record and your fights being exciting or not. i think BJ was only referencing the pay thing because over time, with a bunch of draws (not winning decisively) you either get cut or you don't get paid much.

can anyone think of a better idea? you seem to attack BJ for having decisions in his past. sure he does, but this idea is for the future. people would fight differently, in the future, because this new idea, is like, happening in the future.

this would be the best thing for MMA since its inception. i hope this gets continued discussion.

i'm not historically a huge BJ fan but he really gets it right sometimes. i dug it when he basically said the TRT business is bullshit.
WK- July 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm
I'd also like to say that, I don't think BJ thought this through. It's not like people right now don't want to finish -- sometimes they CAN'T. PRIDE fights went for 30 mins without rounds, Sakuraba and Royce went an hour and thirty minutes! BJ experienced this first-hand in his fight with Fitch. If Fitch had him and pounded him for 5 minutes straight with everything he had and couldn't cap him, then get ready for a lot of draws.
Kimbos Bread- July 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm
BJ's father wears sneakers in the pool.
RwilsonR- July 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm
I also hope under BJ's rule system they will make the fighters fight one continuous 25 minute round. That way all you have to do to get the finish on BJ is to make like Kalib Starnes for the first 10-15 minutes, and then watch BJ's lazy ass fall over from exhaustion.
RwilsonR- July 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm
What about when your corner throws in the towel between rounds? Is that a draw, too, BJ?
djp1988- July 5, 2011 at 6:46 pm
"Oh, and fuck jogging" - BJ Penn
Dru_P- July 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm
Ever see that episode of the Simpsons where Homer becomes a boxer? He can take punches like they're nothing and then when they're tired he just pushes them over. BJ draws would probably see MMA get more Homers.
Bearded Beast- July 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm
There's a good idea buried in here though. Forget the nonsense about doing away with belts and paying people based solely on their record. But he's right on about both fighters leaving the ring empty handed after a decision. 15 minutes (or 25 for titles) is a loooong time to finish the other guy. If you can't do it in the time allotted, you don't get the "W". Judges belong in gymnastics and on American Idol, not in fighting.
Johnny- July 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm
jon jones has been to decision twice
danomite- July 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm
I've actually thought about this same solution on more than a few occasions after watching a bunch of blind judges fuck up a decision. I never considered the no belt thing or the payscale thing, though. But it would never work. For one thing, how could you justify giving a draw to Dos Santos for his soulraping of Shane Carwin or Roy Nelson? It would just create new problems.
Year torgei
WK- July 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Oh damn, does this mean we won't be expecting something unexpected surprises anymore?

PROTIP: don't need to type both captcha, just the one that looks sort of smudged
Horsepower- July 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm
I think BJ's idea is about as good as the one to add a captcha to submit a comment, moronic.
Fatty McDickbutts- July 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Yeah, because this is BJ Penn's end-all-be-all solution to MMA.. I can really tell he had time to hash out his thoughts in the middle of that random parking lot... comon' guys, lighten the fuck up a little :P

This Captcha shit is annoying
Bare Grappler- July 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm
I think he is reading my comments as I said this Sunday morning about judges being draws (in so many words).