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MFC 31 Results: Jimmo Wins 16th Straight, Judges Test Half Point Scoring

Jimmo dominates the pre-fight staredown. We’re talking 10-7.5 dominance.

Sometimes an idea comes along that’s so stupid that society adopts it just out of curiosity. YAMMA Pit Fighting, Canned bacon, XARM- things that supposedly solve a problem that someone is having somewhere, but are essentially useless to everyone else. So when Doc Hamilton introduced his half-point scoring system after Machida’s controversial decision over Shogun Rua at UFC 104, which essentially said that judges should score close rounds 10-9.5 instead of 10-9,  it was just a matter of time before someone said “Hey, maybe he’s right about this whole judges not working with fractions thing”. If last night’s MFC 31 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada , which utilized the half-point scoring system that Doc Hamilton proposed would improve MMA judging, taught us anything it was that half-point scoring is just as flawed as whole point scoring.

Case in point: Last night’s main event saw a controversial unanimous decision victory awarded to former Cage Potato guest blogger/current Maximum Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion Ryan Jimmo over Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. Overall, the fight barely had more action than the weigh-in, as neither fighter seemed eager to engage with- yet alone finish- his opponent. However, Jimmo was clearly the aggressor in the championship rounds, and ended up taking the fight by scores of 49-48.5 (x2) and 49-48. The fight marks Jimmo’s sixteenth straight victory.

Some people who have watched the fight believe that Sokoudjou was robbed, as he pushed the pace in the first three rounds (if we’re using the term as liberally as possibly) and landed the only significant blow of the entire fight: A knee to Jimmo’s forehead in the second round that opened up a cut on the champion. Likewise, some people who have watched the fight believe that Jimmo won two rounds, Sokoudjou won two rounds and the first round could have gone either way. But you know what nobody is saying? Nobody is saying “The half-point system totally worked in preventing a controversial decision”, because it didn’t.

Just like we said when Doc Hamilton first introduced the idea, forcing a “winner” for a round that is too close to call is inherently a bad idea, regardless of whether the winner wins by a whole point or a half point. Just like we said, people are still questioning whether or not the judges chose the right winner of each round, even though the round winner only won by half of a point. That’s because the problem isn’t so much how many points the winner is winning by as it is that a winner in a round that was too close to call is being declared in the first place.

Full results, courtesy of MMAMania:

Ryan Jimmo def. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via unanimous decision
Kajan Johnson def. Richie Whitson via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:51 of round one
Adam Lynn def. Curtis Demarce via knockout (elbow) at 1:38 of round one
Mukai Maromo def. Sabah Fadai via unanimous decision
Terry Martin def. Allen Hope 2:13 of round one via technical knockout (strikes)
Cody Krahn def. Ryan Chiappe via submission (guillotine choke) at 3:45 of round one

Cagepotato Comments

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SciaticNervePain- November 22, 2011 at 7:52 am
To me judges awarding 10-10 rounds more often would, counter-intuitively, best solve the scoring problem (beyond completely moving MMA away from boxing scoring).
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axhed- October 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm
the problem with the 10 point must is wtf would round score of 6-3 even look like? if they already don't even use the bottom half of the score range, what does doubling the possibilities in the top half accomplish?
Jubbie- October 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm
Yea it was my first time watching him too, and I can't figure out why he's considered good. It doesn't matter what judging system they used for that fight. Jimmo lost. The only people who would argue are related to Jimmo or are the judges in that arena.

You can't even call it 5 rounds. The first round had like a total of three attempted strikes. I've never seen a guy sweat so much. He was pouring sweat off his elbows by the third round.
Payday- October 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm
This ma fucka went 5 rounds and RJ couldn't finish SuckWindajou? I honestly believe my 5 year old could finish SuckWindajou after 5 rounds. Was he using oxygen between rounds? Do they test for EPO? Did he have an inhaler hidden in his trunks?
El Guapo- October 8, 2011 at 11:47 am
Niiice. "The Rigged Deal", both funny and true.
Dojima- October 8, 2011 at 11:37 am
^^^Jimbo's nickname for that fight should be the "The Rigged Deal". For future fights, maybe "The Canadian Can Crusher"
danomite- October 8, 2011 at 11:35 am
yeah, i sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out how the hell you get a 49-48.5 score. I'm guessing it was 3 10-9.5's for jimmo and 2 10-9.5's for sokodjou. I do agree that there aren't nearly enough 10-10's, but no scoring system in the world is gonna fix that as long as the people who are in charge of promoting judges punish those who use too many 10-10s.
El Guapo- October 8, 2011 at 11:30 am
Now the rest of the card was actually pretty damn good! That counter right ELBOW by Adam Lynn was a thing of beauty, not to mention brutality. Poor man's Mayhem Miller never saw it coming. Also, any word on that Persian dude's lead leg still being attached? The "Real" African Assasin kicked the canned bacon out of it, for real.
SethF- October 8, 2011 at 11:26 am
Oh snap. M-1 LHW champ Vinny Magalhaes seems butthurt about Ryan Jimmo's victory....!/VinnyMMA/status/122531466310713344
El Guapo- October 8, 2011 at 11:24 am
Regardless of fractions, whole numbers or shitty judges... That fight sucked. T'was my first time seeing Jimbo fight(yes, I know it's Jimmo, but after watching that shit he's Jimbo from here on out)and all I was thinking was he needs to change his nickname to somehthing more appropriate. How he's won 16 fights in a row is beyond me.
superflat- October 8, 2011 at 11:14 am
@danomite: I get what you're saying, but half points muddy the math of scoring to the point that it's hard to follow for the fans, commentators, and judges. The integer system enables people to easily keep a round tally, which is important from an entertainment standpoint.

To me judges awarding 10-10 rounds more often would, counter-intuitively, best solve the scoring problem (beyond completely moving MMA away from boxing scoring). Take the fight in question here: Sokudju wins a single round -- the one in which he lands the knee -- and the rest are draws. Judges don't have to worry about who's vaguely pressing the action in the rounds during which nothing happens. In other words, 10-10 should be the default score until a fighter moves the dial in his favor by actually doing something. As it stands, judges are constantly trying to determine which fighter is winning the round, and basically guessing.
danomite- October 8, 2011 at 11:00 am
so you're saying a fight that some people think should have been 48-47, other people thought should have been 47-48, and still others thought should have been 48-48 ended up with someone winning by a half a point? sounds like a success to me. From what I've read Doc's systems allows for 10-10 rounds just like the current system. If judges aren't willing to give 10-10's then it's their fault, not the system. The whole advantage of the half-point system is that it encourages judges to be more liberal with their scoring and basically tricks them into giving out more of what would be considered a 10-8 in the current system. Even if it were somehow adopted 10-9's would slowly become weeded out and we'd be back to the same problems we have now. That is, until someone comes up with the idea for the quarter-point system. Moral of the story? People are stupid, especially judges.