In a move designed to improve judging by giving officials a better view of the in-Octagon action, the Vancouver Athletic Commission has approved the use of cageside video monitors by its appointed judges at UFC 131.
According to VAC Correspondance Officer Jonathan Tweedale, the decision to allow judges to utilize close circuit television screens to better observe what’s going on in the cage while their views are obstructed was made to help eliminate questionable judging disparities.
“Hopefully this small step, along with mandatory education for all officials, will enhance the fairness and consistency of judges’ decisions if other jurisdictions follow suit,” Tweedale told MMAJunkie today. “The fighters deserve as much.”
The Vancouver, BC show will mark the fourth time monitors have been used as an aid in judging UFC events. They were utilized at UFC on Versus 1, UFC 117 and UFC 121.
UFC vice president of regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, who indicated that the promotion will put in a request with the Nevada State Athletic Commission that monitors be used at UFC 130 in Las Vegas downplayed the screens as being, “just another tool for the judges.”
According to California State Athletic Commission executive director, George Dodd, he specifically requested the use of monitors shortly after he took the helm of the governing body February 2010.
“There are no regulations that say we can’t have monitors in that area,” Dodd said. “Sometimes we don’t get the best look because those big bars are in the way. It just gives the judges another angle to score fights.”
NSAC executive director Keith Kizer told MMAJunkie earlier in the week that the use of monitors in Nevada would have to be approved by way of a vote at the next regulatory hearing and that, although he wasn’t necessarily opposed to the use of monitors, he didn’t feel they are necessary as judges may become dependent on them.
Come on, Keith. We’re talking about TV monitors here, not crack. He should be all for using whatever it takes to ensure judges get it right for once. Maybe he should start by getting Cecil Peoples on a plan for free prescription eyeglasses.