After every event where there is a debated decision, the call to address MMA scoring is renewed among fans. Debates around the effectiveness of the 10 point must system often accompany a greater debate about scoring philosophy.
But I hate to be the one to break it to yall, and I know you don't want to hear this, but occasional bad or debated decisions are a necessary evil that we must tolerate if we want MMA to remain as exciting as we're accustomed to. They're a cost of doing business.
There are two basic problems underscoring the issue, that will be hard to overcome, that we need to address first ;
1. Commissions handle scoring and it would be exceedingly difficult to reform the scoring criteria sport wide due to this.
2. All the suggested alternatives(half point systems, Pride scoring, computer tallying of strikes, takedowns etc using a formula) would all just lead to new types of debated decisions.
But above all this, there is a third problem, that even if the first two were overcame, which our debates almost entirely ignore. The UFC(or Bellator or WSOF or anyone for that matter) has no interest in fixing scoring. The sport as we know it, the sport that creates its magic with three and five round epics, and the sport where "anything can happen" depends on scoring ambiguity in close rounds. If there were a system created which was relatively reliable, and offered clear scoring criteria that most judges could easily follow in concert, it would be utterly ruinous to the spirit of MMA.
If the path to scoring decisions was made easier, more fighters would fight to score decisions. And if a clear scoring criteria was implemented, it would transform thousands of formerly close rounds to competitive but clear rounds. This would lead to an increase in decisions and poorer quality fights.
Simply put, if fighters actually could leave it in the hands of the judges they'd.... leave it in the hands of the judges. This would mean less incredible fifth or third rounds. This would mean no more slugfests at the ten second clap. This would mean fights that peak early and are defined by defensive fighting at the end. Everyone hates a great fight that has a weak ending with a guy on his bicycle. Nothing is worse than an anti climatic ending to a fight that started out great.
Aint nobody want that. The UFC don't want that. The fighters ultimately wouldn't want that. And you don't want that.
I know we want a "pure sport" and all that stuff, where the winner always wins, but we can't have that if we want to have a sport where classic fights are the ultimate goal. The truth is, some fighters who deserve a win must be ritually sacrificed to the MMA gods to ensure their blessings. This is another cruel reality in an already cruel sport.