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Dear Roxy: ‘How do you feel about open scoring?’

Roxanne Modafferi tackles your questions, Happy Warrior style, in her ‘Dear Roxy’ column for Bloody Elbow.

Roxanne Modafferi competes at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 2.
Roxanne Modafferi competes at UFC Fight Pass Invitational 2.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

It’s time for another edition of Dear Roxy, where the ‘Happy Warrior’ goes toe-to-toe with questions about fighting, training, and life in general.

In our last edition we talked about self promotion without focusing on sex appeal. We also talked about what I’d change in MMA, given the power to change anything. And we looked at what it takes to maintain good corner communication in the heat of a fight.

In this week’s edition, we’re fielding questions on open scoring and whether or not it has a place in mixed martial arts. We’re also looking at weight cutting in MMA and the possibility for putting more strict systems in place. And we’ll be talking about the potential for bringing a women’s lightweight division to the UFC.


“Dear Roxy,

“How do you feel about open scoring? In my experience from watching recent Invicta FC events sometimes the information comes quite late into the break between rounds, do you think logistics concerns could hamper adopting the policy in UFC?” — Gokou9001

Dear Gokou9001,

I think open scoring is a great idea.

Bruce Buffer reads the judges decision at a UFC event in Russia in 2019.
Bruce Buffer reads the judges decision at a UFC event in Russia in 2019.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Concerning logistics, I’m not sure exactly how much counting and recording has to get done before judges turn in their scorecards. To the best of my knowledge they aren’t the ones who do the strike count and submit the figures that get put on the screen for “significant strikes” and the like. I’ve never looked over their shoulder while doing it, though. There are only 60 seconds between rounds, but even if the cornermen are just able to glance at the round score, I think it’s still useful because they can chose to send their fighter into the next round with a final word of advice. If it takes 40 seconds to get the information to the person holding the iPad, and 5 seconds for them to climb up the cage and flash it to the cornerman, 15 seconds is better than nothing. Of course, it would be best for the cornerman to be able to formulate different strategy depending on if their fighter is ahead or not, but they should have a general feel of the fight anyway.

I think that if the UFC starts using open scoring, they might implement more advanced technology to get the information faster, which would cut down on time.

It takes the guesswork out of close rounds. I’m glad Invicta is trying it out because it’s a high-level promotion with high-level fighters. There are concerns floating around about fighters who are ahead “coasting” and just doing barely enough to win. What about the other side? If I know for a fact that I’m losing, I’m going to go nuts trying to get a finish to secure myself the victory. That will ensure it’s an exciting fight, unless the opponent runs away the entire time. I’ve never seen a boring fight in Invicta.


“Dear Roxy,

“What are your thoughts on more organizations adopting weight cut parameters (similar to, I believe, ONE) where you have weigh-ins earlier in the process where you have certain benchmark weights at set dates out from the fight; to have less last minute crash cuts?” — From Donnie Oliver

Dear Donnie Oliver,

I feel like fewer and fewer people are missing weight nowadays. I think more people are following better nutrition and using science to aid themselves. I would like to think that some fighters are starting to choose to fight up a weight class where they feel good, rather than cut down and feel crappy just to be larger. I have multiple teammates who have gone up weight classes.

I think it’s a good idea to have certain benchmarks, but I’ve never had to abide by them so I can’t say 100%. I think it would be good for less disciplined people, for sure. It might be annoying for me, since I have my own benchmarks which I’m very strict with. I’m not 100% sure how other fighters like them.


“Dear Roxy,

“What is your take on the women’s weight classes in the UFC? Do you think they should adopt a 155 to attract a different pool of women. It’s had success in PFL. With the average weight of a woman in the USA being 170, and all the “body positivity” in the world today shouldn’t it at least be discussed. I love this sport, but the way my body is built, I would have to lose significant muscle mass to get to a weight class to ever be on the biggest mma platform in the world. In other words my dream is killed from the jump. Why is it that the ufc can support pride month, but can’t support opening weight classes so average sized women can have a shot at showcasing their skills and living their dreams!” — From Lauren Kyle Jones

Dear Lauren,

I absolutely think there should be more opportunities for larger women to have fights. I know how hard it is to find a fight. Trust me—I came up in a time where there weren’t a lot of women fighting period. Then, I felt stuck when they only had 135 and I was 125.

As to whether I think the UFC “should” adopt a larger weight class right now? I think we have to look at the number of fighters to fill the weight classes.

Former UFC bantamweight and current PFL lightweight Larissa Pacheco celebrates her victory at PFL 6.
Former UFC bantamweight and current PFL lightweight Larissa Pacheco celebrates her victory at PFL 6.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The PFL is doing such a good job to give women who are 155 opportunities. However, I think that division in the PFL contains a few true 155-ers and also lots of women coming up from 145 or even 135 just for the opportunity.

You mentioned that the average weight of an American woman is 170. Google also says the average height is 5’4” at 170. By those numbers, the average women isn’t fighting; the majority of promotions want finely-tuned, shredded athletes to hire to perform at a high-level. I think we have to consider how many of the taller and more muscular women there are who train and who also weigh 170 lbs. Then, narrow that down to how many of them would be skilled enough to compete even at an amateur level. Narrow that down to those who can go pro, and then who can achieve a skill-level rivaling other UFC fighters.

I actually got a different perspective when I visited Hillary, owner of Unicorn Jiujitsu in Portland. She’s a powerful woman who has fought at 195, 205+, and managed to get to 185 once. She is 5 ft 10. She told me about how hard it was for her. I can only name a few women off the top of my head who are larger with muscle mass that would make it difficult to cut down to 155 lbs. I hope more and more promotions make it possible for larger women to fight and get opportunities so one day soon there will be a group of elite Amazons to make a UFC division. Maybe not tomorrow, but possibly soon. Keep training and fighting! Other women your size need you!


If you’d like to submit your own questions for ‘Dear Roxy’ feel free to email me at basilisk875@yahoo.com, with the subject line “Dear Roxy”, or reach out on twitter @RoxyFighter with the hashtag #DearRoxy. Or simply leave your questions in a comment below on Bloody Elbow. Look forward to hearing from you all soon.