The MMA Unicorn: The 10-8 Round

As fans, we constantly call for changes and improvements to the sport we love so much. One of the most constant is the judging. Even though it is often based on boxing criteria, the judges still seem to get fights wrong that never go to the ground. Amongst the complaints, we seem to have a focus on the lack of 10-8 rounds.

Mookie Alexander already wrote a fanpost calling for more 10-8 rounds. Dan Galvan also made a similar point. In boxing, 10-8 and 10-7 rounds come standard in rounds with knockdowns. If a boxer gets knocked down once, it's a 10-8. They lose another point with each subsequent knockdown, unless of course the fight is stopped. In MMA, even savage knockdowns and dominant rounds of wrestling are judged to be the same old 10-9 round as the most competitive fight on any given card.

That isn't to say 10-8 rounds don't exist. Here are a couple examples:

UFC 161: Alexis Davis takes one 10-8 round against Rosi Sexton.

UFC 160: Donald Cerrone takes one 10-8 round against KJ Noons.

UFC 160: Jeremy Stephens takes one 10-8 round against Payan.

UFC on FX 8: Nik Lentz and Hacran Diaz EACH get a 10-8 round against each other.

UFC on FX 7: Nik Lentz gets a 10-10 card from one judge, and a 10-8 from another.

UFC on Fuel 7: James Te Huna gets one 10-8 in the 1st round against Ryan Jimmo.

UFC 155: Cain Velasquez gets multiple 10-8 rounds over Junior Dos Santos.

UFC 141: Jim Hettes beats Nam Phan 30-25, 30-26, 30-25.

UFC 117: Chael Sonnen receives three 10-8 rounds before tapping in the 5th to Anderson Silva.

That's including almost every UFC card in 2013, plus a couple from outside of that year. I count 6 10-8 rounds in 6 months of competition this year. And often, only one judge gives that score. Is it terrible? Well, no. It just changes the game. And allows fighters to play a "game". They can just do the math that if they won two rounds, they will win the fight if they get through the third. More 10-8 cards means less clarity, and the need to perform less defensively in the late rounds.

I'd love to hear from you about more 10-8 round examples, and if they were warranted or impacted the fight.

UFC 139 serves as a classic example of a non-called 10-8 round, which led to Dan Henderson beating Shogun Rua by decision.

PS: It's a whole different can of worms, but has a full section dedicated to 10-10 rounds. The list goes from UFC 33 to UFC 159, includes Strikeforce, and is only a list of 32 judgements. Often, 2 or 3 will come from the same fight.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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