FanPost

MMA Judging Simplified

Fans being critical of judges in the MMA world is not a new topic.  Some accounts justified....other's are fans bias blinding the fact that their favorite fighter just lost.  I recognize the fact that judges don't have the benefit of instant replay...nor do they get to watch the fight's from every angle possible.  Currently, the following information is what the judges must abide by in terms of scoring a fight:

E. Judging Criteria
1. Judges are required to determine the winner of a bout that goes to it's full time limit based upon the following criteria:
-Clean Strikes
-Effective Grappling
-Octagon Control
-Effective Aggressiveness

F. Clean Strikes
1. The fighter who is landing both effective and efficient clean strikes.
2. There are two ways of measuring strikes:
-the total number of clean strikes landed (more efficient)
-the total number of heavy strikes landed (more effective)

G. The heavier striker who lands with efficiency, deserves more credit from the Judges than total number landed.
1. If the striking power between the fighters was equal, then the total number landed would be used as the criteria.
2. The total number of strikes landed, should be of sufficient quantity favoring a fighter, to earn a winning round.

H. Strikes thrown from the top position of the guard, are generally heavier and more effective than those thrown from the back.
1. Thus a Judge shall recognize that effective strikes thrown from the top guard position are of "higher quality", than thrown from the bottom.
2. The Judge shall recognize that this is not always the case.
However, the vast majority of fighters prefer the top guard position to strike from. This is a strong indication of positional dominance for striking.

I. Effective Grappling
1. The Judge shall recognize the value of both the clean takedown and active guard position.
2. The Judge shall recognize that a fighter who is able to cleanly takedown his opponent, is effectively grappling.
3. A Judge shall recognize that a fighter on his back in an active guard position, can effectively grapple, through execution of repeated threatening attempts at submission and reversal resulting in continuous defense from the top fighter.
4. A Judge shall recognize that a fighter who maneuvers from guard to mount is effectively grappling.
5. A Judge shall recognize that the guard position alone shall be scored neutral or even, if none of the preceding situations were met.(items 2-4)
6. A Judge shall recognize that if the fighters remain in guard the majority of a round with neither fighter having an edge in clean striking or effective grappling, (items 2-4), the fighter who scored the clean takedown deserves the round.
7. A clean reversal is equal to a clean takedown in effective grappling

J. Octagon Control
1. The fighter who is dictating the pace, place and position of the fight.
2. A striker who fends off a grappler's takedown attempt to remain standing and effectively strike is octagon control.
3. A grappler who can takedown an effective standing striker to ground fight is octagon control.
4. The fighter on the ground who creates submission, mount or clean striking opportunities

K. Effective Aggressiveness
1. This simply means who is moving forward and finding success.(scoring)
2. Throwing a strike moving backwards is not as effective as a strike thrown moving forward.
3. Throwing strikes and not landing is not effective aggressiveness.
4. Moving forward and getting struck is not effective aggressiveness.
5. Shooting takedowns and getting countered and fended off is not effective aggressiveness.

I think it should be condensed into Clean Strikes and Effective Grappling...since Octagon Control and Effective Aggressiveness both fit under the Clean Strikes/Effective Grappling Criteria, and all fights either take place standing or on the ground. 

F. Clean Strikes
1. The fighter who is landing both effective and efficient clean strikes.
2. There are two ways of measuring strikes:
-the total number of clean strikes landed (more efficient)
-the total number of heavy strikes landed (more effective)

G. The heavier striker who lands with efficiency, deserves more credit from the Judges than total number landed.
1. If the striking power between the fighters was equal, then the total number landed would be used as the criteria.
2. The total number of strikes landed, should be of sufficient quantity favoring a fighter, to earn a winning round.

H. Strikes thrown from the top position of the guard, are generally heavier and more effective than those thrown from the back.
1. Thus a Judge shall recognize that effective strikes thrown from the top guard position are of "higher quality", than thrown from the bottom.
2. The Judge shall recognize that this is not always the case.
However, the vast majority of fighters prefer the top guard position to strike from. This is a strong indication of positional dominance for striking.

I. Effective Grappling
1. The Judge shall recognize the value of both the clean takedown and active guard position.
2. The Judge shall recognize that a fighter who is able to cleanly takedown his opponent, is effectively grappling.
3. A Judge shall recognize that a fighter on his back in an active guard position, can effectively grapple, through execution of repeated threatening attempts at submission and reversal resulting in continuous defense from the top fighter.
4. A Judge shall recognize that a fighter who maneuvers from guard to mount is effectively grappling.
5. A Judge shall recognize that the guard position alone shall be scored neutral or even, if none of the preceding situations were met.(items 2-4)
6. A Judge shall recognize that if the fighters remain in guard the majority of a round with neither fighter having an edge in clean striking or effective grappling, (items 2-4), the fighter who scored the clean takedown deserves the round.
7. A clean reversal is equal to a clean takedown in effective grappling.

2. Throwing a strike moving backwards is not as effective as a strike thrown moving forward.

I beg to differ...Chuck Liddell and Lyoto Machida have mastered this technique...also, just because you are moving forward the entire time doesn't mean you are effective or setting the pace of the fight.  Tito Ortiz moved forward the entire time against Machida and got dismantled.

Also, you know how in baseball an umpire has a reputation for a small/big strike zone when calling a game behind the plate.  MMA judges should let it be known what they view as most important in a fight...whether it be power strikes...or a culmunation of strikes...or how do they view take downs/guard passes etc.  That way the fighter's can make that adjustment and incorporate that into their gameplans.

Props to this sherdog post for the guidelines.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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