FanPost

MMA scoring must evolve as the sport changes


As MMA has grown as a sport, there has been an increased number of "controversial" decisions.  Everyone has a different reason for this, whether it is unqualified judges, corruption influencing decisions, or an antequated scoring syestem.  I choose to address the scoring system here.  It amazes me that American MMA continues to use the 10 point must system.  While this system works fine in a boxing match, it cannot handle the complexity that occurs in a 3 round (or 5 round for that matter) MMA fight.  In MMA's infancy it was adequate because you had style vs style, making it relatively simple to see which fighter was imposing their will. 

The modern MMA game is a totally different animal, though.  You now see well rounded fighters that are good at everything, and i believe this is where the soring system breaks down.  You can squeak out 2 rounds by a narrow margin, and it is if the other round does not even matter on the judges scorecards.  I think that introducing a 1/2 point into scoring could help to remedy this problem, however.

For rounds that are extremely close, a 10-9.5 score could be utilized.  A 10-9 score would only be given to a fighter that clearly wins the round.  Judges would still have the option of a 10-8 round if they feel it necessary, but those scores are given very rarely in the current system and I would certainly expect that to continue. 

Now I understand that intoducing the half point leaves open the possibility of many more draws, something that American MMA fans cannot stand.  For the solution I look to another type of fighting: K1.  If MMA were to adopt a 3 minute extension round for drawn fights, we as fans would get to see many more decisive wins, rather than rounds (and sometimes fights) being decided at the flip of a judges coin because there was no clear victor.  By making the extension round shorter, it will force the fighters to be more aggressive because they will have no time to waste.

Imagine the possible excitement at UFC 123 if the Rampage/Machida fight would have been scored 29-29, with Rampage winning the first 2 rounds 10-9.5, and machida winning the last 10-9.  I think 3 more minutes of that fight would have be great, and we would have gotten a real winner, instead of confusion and disappointment.  This is just the most recent example that I have listed here, but plenty of fights have led to the same complaints.

I have seen many people upset about wrestlers dominating MMA with decisions based on position alone, and I think that this can help with that as well.  If a wrestler scores a takedown but only uses it to secure position and never looks to pass guard, do damage or submit their opponent, they may only win a 10-9.5 round.  I am a former wrestler and I love ground fighting, but the operative term being fighting.  I want to see fighters constantly working to win rounds and finish fights, and this would force fighters to try to dominate rounds, because fighting "safe" would no longer be that safe.

This is all just my opinion, but I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has something to say.  If you have a better idea, I would love to hear it.  I don't care about the sport picking up my idea, I just like trying to think of ways it can be better.  Thanks for reading guys! 

\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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