Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya got his first taste of defeat as a professional MMA fighter against Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. As noted on the official scorecards, “The Last Stylebender” only won one round out of five on each of the judges’ tallies.
Two judges only gave him round three, while one judge just gave him round two.
For his part, Adesanya didn’t really disagree with the judges’ tallies. As he admitted during the post-fight scrum, he also failed to keep track of his performance in each round.
“I didn’t even know it was the fourth,” he told the media. “I was like, when I heard it was the fourth round, I was like, ‘Oh, shit. I thought it was the third. I was just having fun in there. I was so lucid. I felt myself, I was smirking a little bit, I was smiling at certain things when I knew I had him.
“I wasn’t scoring the fight. I was just, like, trying to score points. I wasn’t trying to knock him out, take him out. But I was trying to score points, and just touch him. Just keep touching him. Because trust me, I can drop these guys. I’ve done it before.”
A reporter later brought up the idea of open scoring, wherein fighters, their cornermen, and the fans watching are given a live tally of each round, mid-fight. Adesanya is liking the concept and believes it could’ve played a factor in his performance on Saturday night.
“That’s smart. Let’s do that, then. F—k it. That seems really smart,” he said. “I like the fact that we have instant replay now. I don’t why that took so long, as well. I’m sure they have a group chat that they can all text each other. I think that’s a really smart idea.
“So yeah, get it done. That way, if my corner wants to tell me, like, ‘Yo, we need this round.’ Because I saw him getting tired. Trust me, I was fresh. He was getting tired. And the size played a factor in the fifth round.”
Open scoring has proven to have a positive effect on a live fight. Case in point, the Kansas Athletic Commission, which has implemented the said strategy in 2020.
In the recent data released over the course of 92 fights from Invicta FC and LFA, finishing rates went up from 41.7% to 52.1% since open scoring took effect. Third-round finishes also increased from 13.3% to 14.5%.