After any UFC event a narrative plays out and one that comes up over and over is judging. The biggest issues I see that fans don't agree on is submission attempts and wrestling TDs. What I feel maybe be important to judging the fight might be different from the next fan.. In this fan post I'm going to try and explain why I think failed submission attempts should count for little in a fight, why slams should, and That TDs on there own should not count for much.. It is How you get there and what you do with it that matters.
With that said I thought Sean Sherk deserved the win he received over Dunham. Here is why..
First off I'm in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I train regularly and have for the last five years.. It is by far my favorite martial art and I truly believe it is the most effective if there was only one to chose.
With that said.. I believe submission attempts that fail should count no more than a leg kick that gets checked... maybe less. Why should an attempt at a finish (especially from a inferior position)that gets countered leaving the grappler attempting the sub in a worse position or gassed with nothing accomplished count in a judges eyes? In a BJJ grappling match an attempted sub that fails may get awarded an advantage in scoring. An advantage is the equivilent of attempting a transition to side control but not controlling it for more than a couple seconds. So Why should the the sport of MMA award scoring points for failed submissions ? They don't really award points for the equivalent failed transition attempts?
My perspective from grappling suggests that a high level MMA fighter must be able to not just stop or prevent a submission but be able to Counter that move to his advantage. In Sherk/ Dunham that high level BJJ grappling was on full display as Sherk knowingly and willingly took Dunham down while Evan was threatening the guillotine. An elite grappler makes decisions like that, they train for it. And When Sherk took Dunham down and avoided the guillotine he knew was imminent wading into the submission over and over.. it wasn't because Sean Sherk doesn't understand BJJ or submissions, It was because he knows and is better at the intricacies of grappling than we are. He has trained to take opponents down without getting choked for a career.. it is his job.
When I spar and an opponent attempts a guillotine choke on me I consider it easy money.. a pass to side control with him tiring his arms out trying a choke that will never happen. I'm sure Sherk was more than willing to take his chances with this approach since it has worked in every fight so far (hasn't been choked as far as I know). This is something he has trained and excels at as a fighter.
Sean knew he needed to win and standing to bang for the whole fight was going to lose him the fight. Something the Muscle Shark has taken lots of heat for in the past. So when he came out slammed the hell out of Dunham, controlled the pace for two rounds, and puts a gash on Evans eye that would make KenFlo blush.. Then goes balls out at the end to make sure that all the haters that want stand and bang get there fill too!! Sherk not only put on a good fight but he won two rounds in my mind.
Evans needs to step up his wrestling or he is going to become the next kenny.. dangerous on the feet, submissions, but the wrestling will lose him the big fights on the score cards.
P.S. this thing is getting all long and ranty.. no need to talk about slams here.. but lets just say.. TDs should be scored.. slams should be scored higher (as they can cause damage besides just a transition), and finally Nog seemed to get taken down.. but I felt Bader did not control the pace as much as he got credit for. and only one Td led to much in the way of GNP. One tD in fact led to nog punching him three times then standing.. Not sure what to say but a trip TD to getting punched in the face doesn't count in my book for much more than style points. IF Bader came forward and dictated where they were on the feet or had more time on the ground on top.. or Slammed nog a couple times I could see him deserving the win more definitively.