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