After retiring, former UFC fighter Ricardo Almeida announced that he would begin judging MMA events. He’s been doing that for awhile now in his home state of New Jersey, and this Saturday’s UFC on Fox 3 will be the Renzo Gracie black belt’s first time judging fights on the big stage.
Almeida will not be judging fights where he has a conflict of interest (see fighters he coaches or that are affiliated to him or his Renzo Gracie lineage like Jim Miller, for example) but we do already know that he will be one of the judges scoring Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks and several more from the card. Almeida tells ESPN’s Franklin McNeil that he is both nervous and prepared to judge UFC fights.
“Yeah, I’m going to be nervous. It’ll be like I’m walking into a fight myself. But the spotlight only makes me want to be sharper and do a better job,” Almeida tells McNeil.
“It will be pretty intense, but I will be on my toes with this UFC event, because I know all eyes are going to be on me.”
To read the full story at ESPN, click here.
There are possible pitfalls to fighters judging fights (what happens if Almeida announces his come-back by awarding himself a decision win in the Koscheck vs. Hendricks bout, for example? We jus’ kidding! Please don’t tweet Almeida about that or sue us.), but the positives of having an informed person who knows the sport first-hand seems like a step in the right direction. Props to New Jersey’s commission head Nick Lembo for asking Almeida to become a judge.
Both Koscheck and Hendricks have expressed their approval of Almeida judging their and other fights. I’m sure that goodwill will last exactly until the point Almeida scores a big fight differently than a fighter says he should.