I've been trying to think of scenarios that seem far more deserving of 10-8s than the second round of Griffin vs. Jackson. I want to run this round by you folks and see if we can't hammer out why Griffin vs. Jackson round 2 is 10-8 and the first round of this fight is 10-9.
This fight is Forrest Petz vs. Brian Gassaway from the most recent Adrenaline MMA card. Both fighters are UFC veterans and both are certainly skilled competitors. The round in question for me is the first. Most of the round is largely uneventful as both fighters trade on the feet with Gassaway getting a little bit better of the exchanges with better hand speed and timing. However, at the 1:38 mark of the first round Gassaway floors Petz with a vicious left hook and rocks him badly. The fight can arguably be stopped but Petz manages to hang on. Gassaway then grounds and pounds as he passes to mount. Petz is trying to escape but gives up his back. Gassaway flattens him out and unloads a few more punches. Petz tries to roll back over and is mounted again after a failed rear naked choke attempt. Petz rolls again and gives up his back a second time. The round ends with Gassaway in back mount.
Here's the catch. Petz winds up winning the next two rounds and steals the fight. Why? Because all three judges scored the first round 10-9.
So, let's think about this here: Gassaway rocks Petz and almost closes the show, unloads unspectacular but important ground and pound and achieves both back mount and mount twice in the same round as Petz literally survives. That was 10-9.
Griffin, by contrast, hurts Rampage with a leg kick, but doesn't come close at all to stopping him with strikes. He attempts a few submissions and rides the mount, thereby neutralizing Rampage's offense, but doesn't inflict damage from the mount position. He does hold more dominant positions for longer, but doesn't come as close to Gassaway in stopping his opponent. That's 10-8.
What are we giving value to here? Who comes closer to finishing the fight or the duration of time spent dominating an opponent? How much does damage matter given that Petz was significantly closer to being stopped than Rampage? And why doesn't Gassway's balance of damage and positional control count as much as Forrest's uneven balance of less damage (the type that ends fights, not just stuns opponents) and more positional control?