This is not a FanPost designed to argue why Maynard or Guida deserved to win last night's main event. Neither is it an attempt to chastise Guida for not engaging enough or Maynard for not cutting off Clay's movement. In fact, I am wholly uninterested in arguing the judges' decision as this has already been done to death elsewhere. Instead, let's take a look at the first three rounds of Clay Guida vs Gray Maynard and use those, and those alone, as the foundation of a discussion on the merits of 10-10 rounds.
The paradox of discussing judging and the unified ruleset seems to be that in order for people to be interested in really discussing it, we need a controversial, polarising decision; however, controversial decisions - especially ones where either or both of the two fighters perform in ways that aggravate a significant part of the fanbase - are typically impossible to discuss in a reasoned manner (see: Condit vs. Diaz). Before you lambast me for suggesting that the first three rounds should be scored 10-10, however, consider this: while the unified rules currently allow for the use of 10-10s, they are exceptionally rare and as such cannot be expected to play a part in almost any decision (see MMA Decisions' 10-10 Report). Were 10-10s to be incorporated to a greater extent, I posit that they would significantly alter the complexion of judges' decisions and influence fighters to fight differently. It follows from that, then, that an increased implementation of 10-10s would have made Guida and Maynard fight differently. My point: I am not arguing in favour of 10-10 rounds because I thought Maynard deserved to win the fight, I am doing it because going forward, I want those types of rounds to be even.
With that out of the way, follow the jump for the current definition of 10-10 rounds from the Unified Rules and my take on the two types of 10-10 rounds.The current definition
A round is to be scored as a 10-10 Round when both contestants appear to be fighting evenly and neither contestant shows dominance in a round
This is taken from the Association of Boxing Commissions' website. While no mention is made of what actually constitutes "dominance" or "evenly", this - along with the note earlier in the article saying that training "should include comprehensive discussions surrounding what constitutes a 10-8 round while also noting that 10-10 rounds are available under the current scoring criteria" - certainly suggests that 10-10 rounds should be more widespread than they currently are.
The High Output 10-10 Round
This would be the type of round where both fighters find success, maybe in different phases of combat (eg. one fighter outstrikes the other on the feet but gets taken down, passed and threatened with a submission). It is characterised by both fighters having enough output to win a 10-9 (or 10-8) round but not enough dominance to win the round. When you think of a round and go "this is too close to call, could go either way", that would be my definition of an exciting, high output 10-10 round.
The Low Output 10-10 Round
I just rewatched the first round of last night's main event. By my count, both fighters landed two significant strikes while Guida outlanded Maynard by 4 insignificant strikes to 2. Fightmetric has it 10-5 in total strikes for Clay Guida. Neither fighter attempted a takedown as the entire round was contested at striking distance. Compare this to round 1 of Diaz vs. Cerrone; in what was considered a 10-9 round, Nate Diaz landed 82 significant strikes to Cerrone's 35 according to FightMetric. It may be unfair to bring up a record-setting strikefest but if that round was a 10-9 (or borderline 10-8 - don't forget, the judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-27, 29-28) then I would claim that there is no way on earth round 1 of Guida vs Maynard could ever conceivably be considered anything other than a 10-10.
Fightmetric considered every strike landed in round 1 significant. This means that they claim Guida outlanded Maynard by a similar ratio to the one Nate Diaz outlanded Donald Cerrone by. Let's for a moment assume that Fightmetric's numbers are 100% correct: is outlanding your opponent 2-to-1 enough to win a round even if you land less than a dozen strikes in 5 minutes of pure striking? I say no. The fact that I had the tally even closer than Fightmetric only supports my case, of course, but that is neither here nor there. Neither fighter produced any output worth mentioning, let alone enough to win them the round. Even if Maynard hadn't landed any of his attempted strikes, Guida still wouldn't have shown the dominance required in the unified rules to win a round.