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Four UFC Fights That Would Have Different Outcomes Under ‘Stockton Rules’

(Smiling in the presence of a woman? Automatic one-point deduction. / Photo via Sherdog)

As sort-of hazily defined by Nick Diaz back in January 2010, the Unified Rules of Stockton is an alternate MMA scoring system in which the winner of the fight is the guy who would have won if the match had continued indefinitely, and the loser is the guy who looks more fucked up afterwards. Under Stockton Rules, only the final round is scored, and holding onto top position without doing damage actually counts for negative points.

The more commonly used ten-point-must system keeps things nice and uniform, and doesn’t require judges to predict the future. But as we’ve seen time and time again, the fighter who has more points on the scorecards isn’t always who you would call the “winner.” So which notable UFC fights would have different results if the scoring system was a little more gangster? Let’s get an obvious one out of the way first…

UFC 139, 11/19/11

According to the scorecards: Henderson wins by unanimous decision, 48-47 across the board.

What really happened: Shogun got thoroughly handled in the first three rounds, but managed to get some momentum back in the fourth, and spent much of the last round in mount, slugging the crap out of a helpless Hendo who clearly had nothing left. Henderson was saved by the bell, and had fortunately built up enough of a lead early in the fight to clinch the judges’ decision.

According to Stockton Rules: Rua would be awarded a pre-emptive TKO victory, based on the likelihood that he would have finished the fight by round seven.

UFC 127, 2/27/11

According to the scorecards: Penn and Fitch fought to a majority draw, with two out of the three judges scoring it 28-28.

What really happened: Penn vs. Fitch is a perfect illustration of the shortcomings of the ten-point-must system. The Prodigy was awarded the first two rounds 10-9, for edging out Fitch by the narrowest of margins. Then, Fitch comes back in round three and beats the living hell out of Penn. Add it all up, and the fight is…dead even? Maybe by the numbers, but in no way was that fight a “tie.”

According to Stockton Rules: An obvious decision victory for Fitch, who would still be punching BJ Penn right now if time limits were removed.

UFC 129, 4/30/11

According to the scorecards: Aldo by unanimous decision (48–45, 48–46, 49–46).

What really happened: Just like Dan Henderson’s fight against Shogun, Aldo built up an unsurmountable lead in the early going of this five-rounder. But due to a horrible weight cut and a mysterious infection, the featherweight champ’s body failed him in the fifth round, which allowed Hominick to come back and pour on a heap of abuse which nearly finished the fight.

According to Stockton Rules: It’s a draw. Hominick probably would have won if the fight were allowed to continue to additional rounds, but when you add in the “more fucked-up-looking” criteria, Aldo evens the score by making Hominick’s head look like a damn parade float. Raise both of their hands and make them fight again the next day. (Also known as “Stockton Scheduling.”)

UFC 117, 8/7/10

According to the scorecards: The fight never went to the judges. Silva won by triangle-armbar submission in round five.

What really happened: Chael Sonnen spent four and a half rounds taking Silva down at will and smashing him from the top. Hell, he was even getting the better of the standup exchanges somehow. And then, as has happened many times before in his pro career, Sonnen fell into the unforgiving crotch of a Brazilian and got choked out.

According to Stockton Rules: Sonnen by split-decision. Look, I know what you’re thinking — how could the guy who tapped out be considered the winner of a fight? Well, you clearly haven’t read the Stockton Rules fine print. As Nick Diaz explains at the 10:50 mark of his interview with Ariel, “I say, even if you tapped the guy out and you got your ass beat, you still got your ass beat, you know what I mean?”

Or, as Sonnen himself put it later, “In what parallel universe can you punch a man 300 times, he wraps his legs around your head for eight seconds and they declare him the winner? On the streets of West Linn, Oregon, if you lay on your back with your legs wrapped around a man’s head for eight seconds, that does not make you a winner. That makes…not a winner.” The man’s got a point — and it’s pretty obvious that Chael Sonnen is a Stocktonite at heart.



  1. tosr Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:07

    I bet they were saving this shite up for a slow news day thinking it would get them through... Sometimes something is not better than nothing.
  2. doowm Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:21 it isn't.
  3. bgoldstein Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:22

    Hey fuck you guys!
  4. Viva Hate Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:26

    So um, what ever happened to that Matt Mitrione contest? It was skeletor wasn't it?
  5. HusseinObama Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:30

    "Hey fuck you guys!" Tell them morons BG! Good piece, btw.
  6. CrushCo Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:54

    How is this getting hated on? This is great!
  7. RoJoegan Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:56

    Come on now, even under Stockton rules, Sonnen was gassed as an inmate on deathrow. If they were following Stockton rules, Silva would have survived infinitely more of Sonnen’s pillow fists and then poked him in the throat for a fatality.
  8. Stak40 Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:00

    First off BG, Sonnen wasn't "smashing" anyone. He was pillow fighting. Second, based on Stockton rules, Sonnen clearly looked like he got fucked up. Silva didn't have a scratch. Being on top and not doing anything is negative points, so by Stockton rules, the fact that Sonnen looked fucked, didn't leave a scratch on Silva (ie. not doing shit from the top) and got choked out, Sonnen lost twice.
  9. WarpedAcorn Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:00

    BG channels his inner-Diaz with massive success!
  10. DangadaDang Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:14

    What the hell is happening to the CP army? We are supposed to be united God damn it! Sweet article, BTW.
  11. humperdinkal Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:14

    Yeah, Shogun put a beating to hendo towards the end of the fight. Speaking of beatdowns, anyone happen to catch youtube video of a skinny ass 16yr. old Shogun fighting another kid at a house party? He was fiesty even back then. If you haven't seen it, check it out on youtube. Don't want to give the outcome away:)
  12. ReX13 Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:17

    zoila frausto is a bum according to stockton rules. . . . . . (it needed saying)
  13. ReX13 Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:17

    also, Beej >>> how's michigan? i asssume it's about as cold there as it is here in kansas.... FML
  14. Belvey631 Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:28

    Serra beats Hughes under Stockton rules.
  15. Fried Taco Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:30

    And here I thought Stockton rules just meant standing the two fighters next to each other after the fight, and picking the one that looked the least fucked up.
  16. Viva Hate Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:38

    I thought Stockton rules were puff, puff give and don't mess up the rotation.
  17. intercept440 Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:45

    WTF is this??? . you knuckleheads dont know shit . in stockton the unified rules are lets go get stoned drink a 40. and go do a driveby. . the loser is the one thats riddled with bullet holes, and usually includes 6 or 7 innocent bystanders. . you fucks need to do some better research
  18. ReX13 Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:04

    i thought stockton rules confined you to cigarette butts in your own yard?
  19. Cup Cheick Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:10

    What about Paul Harris rules?
  20. Gorgzilla Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:17

    The "8 sec vs 300 punch"-win comes when 300 more punches wouldn't matter much, but eight more seconds in the choke might lead to brain damage or death. But you already knew that BG. You are just trolling for comments. Shit! Thant means I loose just by commenting! FUUUUUU...
  21. KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:27

    Paul Harris rules are the last one with a working appendage wins
  22. MonkeyNuts Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:38

    Sonnen gets choked out, then while unconscious he gets his head stomped into the concrete... Stockton Rule #17
  23. Iskander Neptu Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:51

    These "Cracked magazine" lists never come out so good. Leave it to the pros and stick to news/rumors CP. And what's the deal with Gina Carano everywhere, geez. I gotta get a boner every time i come here?
  24. DangadaDang Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:53

    WindmillPalmstrike's comment made me lol.
  25. RwilsonR Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:58

    Great article BG! Much better than than shit Danga tries to pass off as writing (sorry Danga, I just wanted to fit in with the cool kids).
  26. Morningwood Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 09:06

    hey, completely off topic. who won the mitrione voicemail contest?
  27. Iskander Neptu Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 09:17

    Dammit. Promised myself i would never hate on the articles. Stressful day. Besides, it's not like this is Bleacher Report bad "writing".. the take on the Sonnen v Silva fight is way off though. I also completely disagree of Stockton rules of course. They would make for some very boring tv, with fighters saving their energy and avoiding damage.
  28. XENOPHON Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 09:50

    Stockton Rules Suck...they are based on predicting the future - yet eat man tires and recovers at different rates. It is the difference in a 3 or 5 round fight. . In the case of Hendo vs. Rua, sure Hendo looked exhausted rounds 3 and 4, but he also expended twice the energy in the previous rounds. . Stockton Rules is something best left to those with crystal balls, palm reading expertise, or a monkey and his organ grinder. Non-sense, I say - or maybe for the underground - good bare knuckle matches - that made San Diego famous 2-3 decades ago. . @bgoldstein.... . Good to see you still have a pair of balls, and can comment again. - you pussy! GRIN .
  29. Mofo Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 10:20

    @Ben - good idea for an article! Also good Terminator "f u a-hole" appropriate response. . @Haters - for the millionth time, if you don't like this site, fucking go somewhere else! . @Danga - just a bunch of noob whiners. They need to fuck off and die so we old timers can get back the positive vibes. (Fuckit I qualify as OG compared to these whining noobs) . @old timers - hilarious comments as usual.
  30. Mofo Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 10:23

    @Iskander Neptu - You get a special call-out. "Leave it to the pros"? How dare you, you presumptuous little limp dick. I refer you to Gollum, dear sir:
  31. StinkFacer Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 10:53

    This list wasn't bad, just too short. There are plenty of fights that by stockton rules, the winner would have changed. Off the top of my head, Sanchez vs Kampmann. Carwin vs Lesnar. Meh i dont want to think anymore.
  32. SuckMySkyWalker Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 11:38

    The Anderson fight is the dumbest thing ive ever read. You dumb fuck dip shit poo pushers. If Anderson held onto that choke for another minute Sonnen would be long dead and curb stomped you moron trolls. This site sucks.
  33. Steve W Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 01:27

    Honestly, Patrice O'Neal died today and I'm really bummed out. I needed a good laugh and this provided one. Thanks, buddy, it's appreciated.
  34. Mofo Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 01:48

    I saw Patrice at Caroline's in NY 6 days before his stroke. Awesome show of course, hilarious dude. Some jackass got offended about a joke Patrice made about his girlfriend and started heckling without stopping. I was sitting right behind this guy and yelled "I didn't buy tickets to see YOU". He got a bit spooked and shut up. Patrice started talking to me from the stage and so on. Took a pic with him after the show. He seemed in bad shape that night; like, too tired to defend himself against the heckler; exhausted when he sat down after the show; depressed while taking pics with random assholes like me. Wonder if he felt his health declining, he sure looked like he did. YOU RULE PATRICE!
  35. Viva Hate Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 01:54

    Only got to see Patrice once, 2007 O&A Traveling Virus, killed it and stole the show. One of the most underrated comedians ever,very bummed today as well.
  36. Iskander Neptu Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 02:20

    @ Mofo - You've got style, that Gollum referral was gold. You should write some posts for CP. Hey, it can't get much worse than the SWILL you sometimes get here, especially by DANGA. That dude gets paid by the pound right? Mofo, most of the people that come to this site do so for the comments section, not the writing. I remember the good ol'days buddy, i've been around CP for a while. This place has gone to seed in a bad way. Cracked makes this place look like a bunch of preteens putting together a blog about WWE. Deal with it. "Leave now and never come back" - Gold !
  37. eatthecage Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 04:10

    the stockton scheduling part got me in caught reading cp at work for loling
  38. Chromium Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 06:22

    I dunno, I found this pretty goddamn entertaining. More plz.
  39. Bubbaduncan Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 07:58

    I LOL'd 2.5 times
  40. Todd M Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 08:11

    Every writer on this site hates on Anderson,,,, Until he does something spectacular and you get a shit ton of visitors again. I mean really is Chael more exciting than Silva to you guys or what? You guys can shit on fighters all you want but when a commenter does it's not cool right?, see article with Matt Mitrione phone contest or any Ryan Jimmo article. In the words of a whiny little bitch show a 'Modicum' of respect.
  41. fatbellyfrank Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 11:43

    Or, as Sonnen himself put it later, “In what parallel universe can you punch a man 300 times, he wraps his legs around your head for eight seconds and they declare him the winner? ................................................................. Oh Chael, you poor deluded simpleton, as I and many others have said, when your job is a professional fighter, if you a punch an opponent in the face 300 times, leave no mark and do not damage your opponent in any shape or form, well its time to look at your career options, and you can forget real estate, also if the guy you just punched 300 times still has the speed and ability to put you in a basic triangle choke, and in 8 seconds cause you to tap out because you are powerless to get yourself out of this choke hold, well you need to stand in front of the mirror for a while and accept that you FAILED, and don't start me on pissing hot after such a humiliating loss.
  42. fatbellyfrank Says:

    Tue, 11/29/11 - 11:45

    And nice article BG, got us gibbering, and danga, love yer work Bro, keep it up mate
  43. Mofo Says:

    Wed, 11/30/11 - 10:48

    @Iskander Neptu - Sorry I came down hard on you :) Haha I said hard on. You've got a sense of humor and I agree that Cracked does a good job and seems to take their work more seriously. (They probably can pay their contributors better, of course.) . . But on the other hand, ever since old dad left, it doesn't seem to matter WHO writes a given article, or how good it is, there is ALWAYS a handful of commenters who shit it on, and it's just lame and mean spirited and unappreciative. But anyway, you make a legit point and I withdraw my Gollum. I'll send Gollum at someone else. (BTW Gollum is my name for my penis. Don't ask.)
  44. Mofo Says:

    Wed, 11/30/11 - 10:50

    [should say "who shit on it"] . Edit button please CP!
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    Wed, 01/22/14 - 12:19

    [...] Shogun and Hendo first squared off at UFC 139 back in November 2011, with Henderson earning a unanimous decision victory after five rounds of beautiful violence. But as we all know, Shogun was kicking Dan’s ass in last round, and would have won had the fight been scored under the Unified Rules of Stockton. [...]
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