Ricardo Almeida goes from the Octagon, to the scorer's table.
It's been a little over a week since it was announced that UFC welterweight contender, Ricardo Almeida has decided to hang up the gloves and retire from competing in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. At 34-years-old, he mentioned that he wanted to focus more on his family, on his school, and on coaching his teammates. Those aren't going to be the only obligations on his plate though, because as Lary Pepe of ProMMARadio mentioned, "Big Dog" is also now a judge in New Jersey:
Great interview with @NickLembo earlier. Ricardo Almeida now a pro MMA judge in New Jersey. Love to see former fighters becoming judges.
People have long been complaining about Judging in MMA, and while some people blame it on the 10-pt must system, I have always thought that MMA scoring issues have always stemmed from the judges themselves. Granted that this doesn't apply for everyone, but I definitely think that changing the scoring method won't solve our problems if there are still too many judges who can't even properly implement the current system in place. Some say it's because of too much judges simply jumping in from Boxing, or some say there's just a lack of knowledgeable volunteers -- whatever reason is, there is a definite need to educate, and to get more capable and experienced people in the athletic commissions all around the world.
That being said, the NJSACB is already one of the best athletic commissions in the US, maybe even the world, but having a guy like Almeida on staff is certainly going to help. This is a step in the right direction, and I do hope this means more commissions will start hiring and training more guys as knowledgeable as him.