Lets face it, Potato Nation, the current face of MMA judging is nearly as bad as it’s original state of refereeing. And although some of the fault can be attributed to the judges themselves, there is no denying that the 10-point must system upon which nearly all of mixed martial arts competition is judged upon is in dire need of a change. How many decision’s have left us scratching our heads in this year alone? In fact, the very first fight card of the year, which took place on New Year’s Day mind you, ended in the controversial draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. You can’t make this stuff up.
It’s easy to sit back and take pot shots at those in the spotlight, and let’s be honest, it’s kind of what we’re known for. But not today. Today we move from “identifying the problem” to “finding the solution” so that maybe in the future we can say we made even the smallest of differences in the world. (Take that, Wall Street protesters.)
So after extensive research and idea-ball tossing, we have come up with a few options to help solve the judging riddle. If you think any of these ideas are better than the current system, you have a better option, or we should just leave well enough alone, be sure to let us know in the comment section, and vote in the new poll either here or on our homepage.
Option #1 – Pride Rules
Though Pride Fighting Championships was tainted by fixed fights and freak shows during its era, the scoring system upon which it was based certainly nullified most of the “lay-n-pray” strategy that the 10-point must system tends to reward. In the event of a decision, the three judges would decide the winner based on: effort made to finish the fight by KO/sub, damage given to the opponent, standing combinations and ground control, aggressiveness and weight differential. By adding the incentive to finish the fight and damage to the criteria, it emphasizes the notion put forth by the Fertitas that guys who WAR!!! are the ones we want to see fighting.
Option #2 – The Fermat Scale
Taking it’s name from French mathematician Pierre de Fermat, this system is loosely based on the probability scale that Fermat’s contributions helped create. There are 5 distinct categories; Effective Strikes Landed/Damage, Takedowns Completed, Submission Attempts, Knockdowns, and Octagon Control/Aggression. The winner in the judge’s eyes of each category receives a score of 1, the loser, 0. Now, this is not to say that there cannot be a tie in a couple of these categories. For instance, if both fighters knocked the other down once, or twice for that matter, the score would be 1-1 for that category. But by definitively deciding on categories such as Octagon Control and Effective Strikes Landed, it provides a larger window to decide upon an actual winner rather than a single point per round. Rounds are not decided upon as a whole or as a combination of these techniques, but rather by a specific breakdown of how each technique was used and to what success. It emphaizes the “mixed” in “mixed martial arts” essentially.
Option #3 – Queensbury/Boxing Style Rules
This would basically be the same as the current 10-point must system, but with Queensbury rules, the knockdown would become as rewarded in MMA as it is in boxing. Each time a fighter is knocked down, he/she would lose a point. One knockdown would result in a 10-8, and so on. A takedown would not merit an automatic point reduction, but would still factor in to the overall score of the round. The significance of the knockdown would not only allow definitive evidence for justifying a 10-8 round and so on, but help the judges overcome the seemingly intense fear they have of labeling a round 10-8 in the first place. By these rules, Gray Maynard would’ve received much more credit for his first round dismantling of Edgar in their first match up. The tricky part here is, how do you effectively judge what a clear knockdown is in mixed martial arts? That is a tough question to answer, but that’s why we’ve made this a discussion.
Option #4 – Sakuraba/Gracie Rules
This one is simple. Fight until one of you gives up or is finished. Pay-per-views would surely suffer, but that’s just the cost of closure.
So, what say you, Potato Nation? How can we fix this mess?