Roy Nelson is a multi-tasker. While preparing for his May 28 fight with Frank Mir at UFC 130, he is also trying to come up with ideas to improve the sport. Nelson recently spoke to ESPN.com and shared his reasoning for why he thinks three minute rounds are the way to go for MMA:
"You'd probably see a lot more action because you're constantly trying to win the round," Nelson said. "Guys wouldn't be feeling out for two minutes. It's boom, you've got to go right away.
"They want to add more championship rounds -- that's where I say switch everything to three minutes and go 10 rounds. Then you have a lot of ups and downs."
"I've watched fights where I actually take a stopwatch and say, ‘No, he won four minutes of that round but the judges gave it to the other guy.' They just remember that last minute. Three minutes is short enough that the whole round stays in your head."
Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission agrees that it would be easier on the judges:
"Three-minute rounds is less stuff to judge. It's easier to run a mile than a marathon," Kizer said. "Five minutes is a long time and it does make judging more difficult."
I'd say there is roughly a one percent chance of the move ever happening (never say never!) but it is an interesting thought. The idea that you'd have to constantly make your mark round after round would facilitate a little more action and much more urgency to win rounds. But the five round approach is something that defines MMA and is not going anywhere any time soon.