Why MMA Judging Won't Improve

Photo by Jeff Cain via MMA Weekly

Jake Rossen nails it:

The problem with begging for reform -- which has become a regular bell for critics and fans to ring -- is that it ignores the significant aversion humans have to admitting error. If an athletic commission institutes changes in what is clearly a flawed system, the subtext is that they didn't know what they were doing in the first place. Good luck with that.

People who seek positions of influence tend to want to control situations, not follow instructions by layman's committee. What we're left with are decisions by judges of suspect credentials and observation who could potentially be altering the course of careers -- all while commissions shrug and point to the subjective nature of the role.

He goes on to make seven suggestions for improving the current system without running afoul of the fundamental issue he identifies above. Some of which are very interesting -- five judges rather than three -- some of which are less interesting -- having a media ombudsman watching the judges up close, more 10-10 rounds.

But I'm afraid that we're stuck with the crappy judging system we have now, a system that I'm hearing anecdotally is that the spate of recent controversial decision wins in UFC headliners is seriously turning off casual fans. Many of those fans have come to MMA from boxing precisely because they got sick of lame decisions in boxing.

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