Joe Rogan: “I think they should fire judges that suck.”
If you ask a fan of combat sports for an opinion on judging chances are he/she will not only have one but it will involve some sort of negative sentiment about the job being done. Even as recently as last weekend questionable scoring came into play when a head-scratching Split Decision was rendered in a boxing match between Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley where the only three people who seemed to see things in Bradley’s favor were the fighter himself and the two judges who awarded him the win. MMA fans too were treated to a few officials’ questionable observation skills when one errantly ruled in favor of Carlos Eduardo Rocha against Mike Pierce at UFC on FX 3.
UFC announcer and lifelong fan of martial arts Joe Rogan addressed the topic this week while a guest on Bloody Elbow and had a simple, logical solution to the ongoing issue.
“I think they should fire judges that suck,” Rogan replied frankly when asked about how to handle the problem. “I don’t understand how someone can keep their job over and over again while screwing up over and over. What do you call that exactly? Extreme incompetence. How does someone judge any sort of combat sport without at least a passing interest in the sport?”
“If you pulled aside, and I don’t want to name any names, but if you pulled aside some of those judges from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, that has notoriously had horrific scoring, and started asking them about fighters that aren’t fighting in the UFC, would they know anything about them? Would they know anything about who the top judo guy is? Would they even know anything about Gilbert Melendez and how good he is,” a frustrated Rogan continued. “Do these guys know how you set up an Armbar? If I sat them down and said, ‘Do an Armbar on this guy’, would they be able to do that? I think you’ve got to know when a guy’s in trouble and when a guy’s not in trouble, and the only way to know that, is to have actually trained. I don’t think you can be a person who judges martial arts without being an expert in martial arts.”
Rogan concluded his rant by pointing out his own passion for MMA, implying officials who aren’t genuinely invested in the sport will never dedicate the kind of respect and attention it deserves in order to eliminate the blatant butchery of scorecards.