The California State Athletic Commission takes a lot of heat for its handling of MMA affairs, on every topic from fighter licensing to drug testing. Executive Officer Armando Garcia, the head honcho over there, spoke with BoxingInsider.com about some of the big issues in MMA these days, including the disputed region known as the back of the head. So where does Garcia stand? Mohawk rule? Earphones?
Armando Garcia: That is easy. The same as boxing. From the back of one ear to the back of the other ear. I’m in complete opposition to the ‘mohawk’ concept for back of the head fouls. Our Physicians support our position.
Illegal blows to the head are devastating. Ask Gerald McClelland.
For those of you who don’t know, he’s talking about this Gerald McClelland.
This is an interesting insight into how Garcia views MMA and its rules, coming from a background as boxing referee. The ‘headphones’ definition works well for boxing, because there’s no situation where you naturally end up behind an opponent without the fight being halted and restarted. Not so in MMA, where taking an opponent’s back is fairly common. Apparently that difference between the two sports doesn’t matter in California.
Garcia also discusses his views on how the ten-point must scoring system works in MMA, and what about it might be reworked to fit the unique demands of the sport:
BoxingInsider.com: What do you think about the 10-point must system being used to score MMA fights? Should there be a change in the scoring system more towards a PRIDE-style system where a judge picks a winner after three rounds as opposed to individually scoring each round?
Armando Garcia: We’ve beat the whole scoring system up pretty badly in both boxing and MMA. I think what we need is consistently competent judging not so much a new or modified scoring system.
With that said, we should move to address the differences of a 10-9 to a 10-8 round. We’re dealing with shorter fights in MMA. There’s both sides, a 10-8 is huge in a short fight while the differences in 10-9 rounds (routines to close to dominant) are more visible.
I like our system as opposed to the old PRIDE system.
It’s a point well-made by Garcia. In a three or even five-round fight, a 10-8 round has a different effect than in a twelve-round fight, so we need to know what the criteria are. We also need to have a consistent criteria in every state, just like we need to agree on where the back of the head is and what the consequences for pummeling it should be. Ask Brock Lesnar. He’s still stewing over Mazzagatti’s call in his bout with Frank Mir.