Yeah I have heard this and it's deplorable. Why can't you and I just be the judges? People say it's the worst job cos you always get a bad wrap but seriously, that would be an awesome job.
I don't know how good or not it would be. But it is definitely a thankless job. The only time they really get talked about is when they **** up. I mean the only judge I know off hand is Cecil Peoples, why? Because he's horriawful bad. I can name a few others, but name me a good judge off the top of your head. Honestly they only get talked about and praised in MMA circles for doing a good job because they so often **** up. If they weren't as bad as they are, you would never read "Great judging tonight"
Also ex-fighters aren't really a perfect solution. Sure they will know what's happening, but they are just as biased. I'm pretty sure if Rampage Jackson and Damien Maia watched a round of back and forth action, ground, clinch and striking they would score it differently. Richardo Almedia(SP) got his first big judge spot. It was the Kos v Hendricks fight, he was the only one to score it for Kos. So make what you will of that.
Not to be that guy, but honestly you know who was a great judge. Eddie Bravo, does anyone remember when he did the unoffical scorecard thing for the ufc a long time ago. I heard him talk about the way he judged fights once and I thought his system was the best. He would take notes of just about everything that way when a round ended he wouldn't forget what had happened or if he did he could read it before he scored the round. It sounded great to me, I forget sometimes what has happened at the beginning of a round and am guilty of scoring a round to a guy who steals it late when it probably should have gone the other way, so judges probably do it a lot too. There is a reason "stealing rounds" is a legit thing.