That's crazy right; but what are our options?
I was watching some Best of Pride with a friend, who's a very casual MMA fan. He knows the legends and the current big dogs, but sometimes has to remind me that he doesn't really care about the undercard action, what the landscape of a specific division or title-shot picture looks like. But we were talking about the difference in Pride rules, round timing, pro/cons etc and came up with what I thought was an interesting idea amongst the banter.
We've heard fighters after scrappy back and forth decisions claim they could go another round, Benson Henderson said he was open to 7 round title fights, and last year Roy Nelson proposed some crazy 10x 3 minute round affair for title fights as well as adjusting non-title fights to 5 rounds, due to the shorter rounds. His reasoning for this was that it would be easier for judges to score shorter rounds. Personally, I think judges should be able to score a 20 minute single round properly, even if they have to do it minute by minute as they go along.
The idea my friend and I kicked around was; leave non-title fights alone (3x 5 minute rounds), seems to be doing the job just fine. But for title fights, we thought 3 rounds, having Round 1 last 10 minutes, Round 2 goes 7 minutes and a Round 3 at 5 minutes could make things interesting.
It shouldn't affect the current stateof judging (when it's good it's good and vice versa), all rounds would be given equal bias (no extra weight for winning R1 vs. R3) and it would give fighters a longer window to finish while fresh with the ability for title fights to be more exciting, in roughly the same amount of cage time (25 minutes currently, versus 22 minutes as proposed) due to less stoppage in the action.
I've been a bit itchy lately with no UFC and this was a spitball idea, but it made me think and I am interested to know who thinks the current format is fine, or who thinks it could stand tweaking and what changes you might make.
Cheers, thanks for reading.