first off excuse the punctuation, grammar and spelling, I am typing this on the MUNI on my cellphone. Second, this may have been discussed previously at one time but I've been a daily visitor of bloody elbow, mmamania , cage potato, five ounces of pain, mma fighting, etc for months and while I have seen issues and suggestions for judging, I have not read a fan post relating the aspect of wrestling to the need for new judging criteria. I am an architect, not a writer, I use drawings to communicate, not words.
This is more to start a discussion than to present my own opinion as the correct solution, nor do I even have a solution. Now the problem I see is that by the current judging criteria is that a gritty drawn out wrestling match can win a fight despite the fact that they cause almost no damage. These guys can win on the basis of controlling the fight, takedowns and dictating the pace and where the fight takes places. I cannot argue with the fact that under the current set of rules it is indisputable the majority of the time who will be the winner. There are plenty of examples at this point, choose the best one that suites you.
The problem starts with the fact that while they are controlling the fight, they are getting the takedown and the dominant position, but if you do no damage, make no submission attempts, is that really winning the fight? On the street or in the backyard would you see it that way? And while it sounds barbaric to reward damage, this is fighting after all, and even though you are dictating the pace and making the opponent fight your game, if you do nothing with the position, cause no damage, how is that considered being the victor? I see time and time again that the wrestlers hand is raised when his face his a battered mess, while the guy who was laid on loses. On the street who would be the winner? The guy who didn't get beat up, the guy with less damage.
But in this day in age with the media ready to pounce we find ourselves in quite a pickle. While we can't come right out and say damage wins fights so try to beat your opponent as violently as possible to win, isn't that the true essence of a fight in the barest form? Perhaps that judging the fight as a whole rather than round by round would help. Perhaps shifting the weight and value appointed to certain aspects to other more obvious and relevant aspects of a fight could help. I don't know. But I think the time has come with all the wrestlers coming out and grinding out decision wins, playing it in their safe zone assures victory by current standards.
The fight game has evolved immensely since the judging criteria was established, and shouldnt that cireteria evolve with the changing fight game? Just read rashads prefight game plan. He knew it'd be boring. Another guy was quoted as saying "if the crowd is booing, you are doing the right thing" and as a fan is this what we want? To turn mma into a bunch of grinding drawn out wrestling matches where one guy is content to ride out a decision win? Nothing against decision wins, sometimes those are the most exciting to watch. I understand this is mma and the point is that the superior style wins and you need to adjust, evolve, or get out. But I can't help but feel that this wrestling approach is taking advantage of the way fights are scored, and the solution is to revise scoring criteria.
If it's ground and pound, if you are dominating a guy, if you are going for submissions and causing burtal damaging takedown slams that's fine but we have seen so many guys content to ride out the decision solely for the reason that they know under current judging standards that they will win when the reality is that if you are unable to amount any sort of damaging offense from the grappling and jockeying for position it should not be enough to secure the win unless the other guy is literally just helplessly controlled and dominated.
But like I said above, I have seen instances where the short time on the feet does more damage, and the guy on the bottom does more damage, but the wrestler walks away with the win based on dictation the fight and control and dominant position despite the fact that no real damage was done or danger was presented to the other fighter. Am I the only one who is sick of this? It's like manipulating the system because it is not yet sufficient and is young and there are glaring holes begging to be exploited.
What do you guys think? Before I get my head ripped off, I don't find GSP fights boring and I love a good back and forth grappling match. It is only the rare instances above that bother me. The guy winning did nothing but lay on the other. And don't pull that "i don't understand what I'm seeing," because my roommate is a wrestler and he coaches high school wrestling and he is a 3rd degree black belt in karate, as well as the fact that I have been watching mma since UFC 34. I understand the sport well and I see holes that are taken advantage of to win fights based on things that haven't yet been corrected in the scoring and judging system...sorry again for all the grammar and spelling, this phone typing is driving me crazy.
*UPDATE. I have gone through on my work computer and fixed most of the obvious spelling and grammar errors, though the written content is unaltered. I hope this makes it a bit easier to read though. Thanks for all the constructive comments and critisism. This is how a mature and respectful MMA opinion piece should be. No one here is tearing down anothers opinion and people are being respectful to one another. Good job and I really appreciate it.