So I'm sitting here re-watching various MMA fights, and I still can't believe some of the scores I see coming from experienced MMA judges. Instead of bitching about it, I decided it's time I try and do something about it. I'm about to be unemployed and need something to dedicate my time too, something I am passionate about. It's pretty clear I'll never be a pro fighter and I don't have the knowledge of the promotional side to be a manager but a judge? Well shit, if Cecil Peoples can do it, I can do it.
With that in mind, I headed over to the Ontario government's website, found my way to the licensing requirements page and hit a massive roadblock. "Applicants must have significant experience in combat sports which may include participating, managing, officiating in other capacities or jurisdictions or prior experience in this role at the professional level. Well crap. All I kept thinking was "how do I get around this? There must be a way" and then it hits me. When Ontario first legalized MMA, Big John brought his COMMAND course to Canada to gets some judges and refs ready to be licensed. I contacted John to find out when he is next going to be around Toronto (awaiting his reply) but I wasn't satisfied with just doing that, so I did what anyone should do when entering a new field: I applied to start at the bottom. Timekeeper for regional shows. The requirements for that are much less stringent, and don't require applicants to have pro experience at all. I figure if I timekeep (and do it correctly I'M LOOKING AT YOU HARRIS/FALCAO TIMEKEEPER) I can use that experience (and hopefully the COMMAND course) to get myself licensed in Ontario. From there, who knows?
With any luck, I'll be a licensed timekeeper in Ontario by the summer. Something tells me this is the start of what is going to be a wild ride. I'm not the type to get denied on applications and give up, so if I my first application gets denied I will keep applying until they take me. MMA needs better judges, and I'm getting off my ass to do something about it. You should too.