Fedor's retirement bout, ONE FC producing a crazy soccer kick KO, and UFC 147. All of that happened in a span of a few days making it a big weekend for MMA fans. There were several fun bouts, and there were naturally a few head-scratchers during a stretch which had dozens of fights packed in a short time span.
When watching the two back-to-back UFC main events though, there was one prevalent idea that kept sticking out for me -- the need to properly utiliz the 10-point must system.
For the first few rounds, nothing truly significant happened, and no one really 'won' those rounds. Even basing it on the numbers, the difference of strikes landed for both fighters were too close having just 3-5 relatively insignificant strikes separating them for the first three stanzas. Those rounds were as close as you will ever get, making it perfect example of true 10-10 rounds. There were no takedowns, or any grappling whatsoever, so the call should've been easier. Yet for some unknown reason, the judges still felt that they had to give a winner to all of those rounds, eventually leading to a very questionable split decision.
On the UFC 147 main event, Rich Franklin was picking apart Wanderlei Silva for 4 of the 5 rounds, rightfully getting 10-9's in those stanzas. During the second round though, Wanderlei hurt him badly, knocked him down, and swarmed with dozens and dozens of shots. The referee almost stopped the fight at multiple occasions, with Franklin just barely surviving until the bell rang. Judges call? Still unanimous at 10-9, on a round that was clearly a 10-8 at the very least.
Does a fighter have to suffer a near death experience to lose the round 10-8? What about 10-7's? How will a 10-10 happen? When both guys circle around and barely land anything? ...Oh wait, that happened. Still 10-9.
MMA fans have complained about changing the 10-point must system, but the bigger problem in MMA is having judges who fail to correctly use the simple criteria they were given. Regardless if the true winners on both fights still earned the nod, those two main events clearly highlighted the real need to improve and to understand how to properly utilize the different scoring criteria available to the judges.
This isn't the "10-9 Must System", learn how to use 10-10's, 10-8's, and even the rare 10-7 and 10-6's.