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Old 11-24-2010, 05:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Terrible ESPN article on "Improving" MMA

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonsensical writer
Boring is a part of sports. No way around it. Basketball is constantly being interrupted by referees. Boxers can put on their running shoes. Baseball -- well, baseball was obviously engineered to be boring. It's the cruelest joke ever perpetuated on humanity. Even when you have complete control over the pace of something -- like the WWE's ballet of groin shots -- you can still stink up the place. It's impossible to completely supercharge anything. Unless someone is on fire.

The idea, instead, should be mitigation: Keep the mind-numbing to a minimum. In this, Japan should be considered a pioneer: At a time when American promotions were still allowing endless time in an ineffectual guard or clinch, referees there would use everything short of batons and tazers to provoke action. (Give it time.) Inactive? They'll take 10 percent of your purse. Stall? More money taken away, or maybe your plane ticket home.

Thanks in part to late notice and spectacular mismatches, leagues like Pride had a pretty high good-to-blah work rate. Unfortunately, they also treated fighters like cattle. Kazushi Sakuraba, a 15-year veteran of such tactics, moves like he's walking through wet cement. This is too much. But it's possible to promote more exciting fights without compromising health or safety. Here's how:

The referee needs a quicker trigger. How many times have we spent minutes staring half-lidded at fighters in the clinch, jockeying for position that isn't going to come? Eventually, the referee comes in to break them up, but it's often too late; the crowd is lost. Let's significantly shorten the duration given to fighters who are tied up against the fence to 15 or 20 seconds. Could it conceivably affect the outcome of the fight? It could -- but so can keeping the match to three rounds instead of five or 10, along with the other thousand variables that keep this an approximation of a fight, not a 59-round John L. Sullivan homage.

Start subtracting instead of only adding. The MMA judge's mindset is to reward aggression and damage with 10 points in the round. In the midst of multilevel action, it's an easy equation to remember. But deducting points is every bit their obligation as well. Why should a fighter who barely loses a competitive round be afforded the same score (nine) as a guy who got his nose busted, his arm tendons torqued and his rear end planted, especially if both scenes play out in the same fight? Losers are supposed to get "nine or less." Less is more.

Punish passivity, aka "the staring contest." Confident he had won the first two rounds, Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves did virtually nothing in the third against Gerald Harris on Saturday. Why risk trouble when the fight is in the bag? It's the same principle that cost Oscar De La Hoya his infamous fight against Felix Trinidad years ago. In the rules, the referee can deduct a point for passivity. If he had, Falcao would have been looking at a 10-8 round, and a 28-28 draw.


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Shrink the cage. The UFC has done everything within ethical reason to encourage action: bonuses for finishing, locker room checks for exciting fights and punishing boring fighters by delaying title shots. It's all fine, but the problem is that those reprisals are delayed. During the fight, the fighter is mostly concerned with protecting his neck and winning. Forcing action needs to begin as soon as the bell rings.

The UFC's official Octagon is 30 feet in diameter; it shrinks only for Ultimate Fight Night events or Spike's "The Ultimate Fighter." That's a lot of space to gallop around like a show pony. By contrast, the WEC's cage is (er, was) 25 feet. Fighters have no place to move but directly into one another.

There's a nice pageantry surrounding a big, enclosed fence, and the UFC has rarely showed any interest in changing it. But fighters are now adept in evasive maneuvering, playing for the cards and avoiding exchanges. You can't turn it into a phone booth, but you don't need a football field, either.

Stuff the gloves. The No. 1 reason fighters are sometimes reluctant to charge in: getting hit with five-ounce gloves absolutely sucks. There's virtually nothing to prevent bone meeting bone and transmitting horrible, nauseating force. A lightly padded MMA mitt is treated with the respect of a glove wrapped in glass shards. Fighters are wary of taking even one shot.

Getting a few more ounces into the gloves without compromising grappling or gripping would dull that effect by a decent amount. Blows would become less severe and the fighter would be emboldened to come forward and create more opportunities to land a combination or a good shot that finishes it.

Granted, there's ongoing debate about whether bigger gloves protect heads; they might instead be better cushioning for the hand to deliver a more potent blow. But a bowling ball dropped on your skull is going to hurt whether it's wrapped in padding or not. And because of the grappling element, MMA fighters will never sustain the volume of head strikes that boxers do.

More reasons?

Bigger gloves: fewer cut stoppages.

Bigger gloves: fewer hand injuries. Fighters fight more frequently.

Blow up the gloves and see if the fighters don't feel more confident eating less damaging shots to deliver their own. As the sport evolves, it becomes necessary to make sure the trappings evolve with it.
Link : http://espn.go.com/extra/mma/blog/_/name/mma

Newest one at the moment.

Sometimes, I think the referees are standing them up too quickly.

We know the judging system is flawed. His solution is a little wacko though.

Passivity should be punished, but another way. No Pride yellow cards please.

Quote:
The UFC's official Octagon is 30 feet in diameter; it shrinks only for Ultimate Fight Night events or Spike's "The Ultimate Fighter." That's a lot of space to gallop around like a show pony. By contrast, the WEC's cage is (er, was) 25 feet. Fighters have no place to move but directly into one another.
I SERIOUSLY doubt five feet of shrinkage will make more aggressive fights. It's pretty clear that the lighter fighters just go at it at a more furious pace because they don't expend as much energy lugging around pounds on pounds of muscle.

Bigger gloves.... WTF?

I am very disappointed ESPN allowed this piece of garbage to be published. It's articles like these that will set MMA back years.
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Old 11-25-2010, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally, I've always hated stand-ups but after watching Pride Bushido I've almost changed my mind. There were some great fights in that tournament and the early stand-ups really helped. Never thought I'd hear myself advocating that.
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Old 11-25-2010, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Passivity should be punished, but another way. No Pride yellow cards please.
Why not? Those yellow cards were awesome. Deducting 10% pay is a great way to entice a boring fighter to do their job.
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There should be something done. I've thought of this a lot, especially when I'm watching two fighters hugging for a long period of time with my face like -.-:

Quote:
The referee needs a quicker trigger. How many times have we spent minutes staring half-lidded at fighters in the clinch, jockeying for position that isn't going to come? Eventually, the referee comes in to break them up, but it's often too late; the crowd is lost. Let's significantly shorten the duration given to fighters who are tied up against the fence to 15 or 20 seconds. Could it conceivably affect the outcome of the fight? It could -- but so can keeping the match to three rounds instead of five or 10, along with the other thousand variables that keep this an approximation of a fight, not a 59-round John L. Sullivan homage.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree to an extent on the stand ups. A lot of clinch work could be stopped early and a lot of guard play could be as well. You need set ground rules though for what constitutes passivity. Guys like Fitch and GSP stay in their opponents guard almost the whole fight most of the time, but they're CONSTANTLY applying pressure. This is not grounds for standing IMO. People like Lyoto are elusive, but they're counter punchers and should not be penalized for such action *unless of course you have a Rampage/Machida where Page clearly hit him a number of times and Machida didn't counter*

Cage shrinking and blowing up gloves is retarded though. It's already hard enough to grapple in those things. The reason people have such mobility in the Octagon is becuase it is precisely that, an octagon. There are no corners to trap an opponent. Shrinking it will in no way fix that.
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It was a good article until it said they needed bigger gloves.

I'm all for punishing passive fighters and it's clear that 10-8 and 10-10 need to be scored more often. Also there is more action going on in the ring because it's smaller. I've always had the feeling that the octagon was too big. In a ring we would never have seen Nate Quarry trying to beat Kalib Starnes via elephant. Cutting off the octagon and cornering your opponent is virtually impossible unless you're in clinch range. Shrinking the octagon is not a good idea though. Why not switch it to a ring (yeah, I know, never gonna happen in the UFC)? It presents a neutral environment for striking and grappling and there is no getting up from under an opponent without actual skill. Whenever somebody walks the cage I'm rolling my eyes thinking he wouldn't be able to get up if it wasn't for the cage. It's the equivalent of bug using in a video game.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by King JLB View Post
Why not? Those yellow cards were awesome. Deducting 10% pay is a great way to entice a boring fighter to do their job.
The problem is you'd have to start paying mma fighters enough to take 10 percent.

Most are already making minimal wage or less. I wouldn't mind trying out the smaller cages. The articles fine. The sock em bopper glovers are not.
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why not? Those yellow cards were awesome. Deducting 10% pay is a great way to entice a boring fighter to do their job.
Sure it'd work for the ones who earn more than $20,000. Besides that, I don't think it's enough incentive to increase action.

I like how DW is sending a message with the Falcao-Harris fight. Staring contests are not allowed. There must be some kind of rule change that will allow more action on the ground though.

Edit: Wait, I've just discovered the solution. Inject a bit of Clay Guida's DNA into every UFC fighter as a prefight requirement.
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:18 PM   #10 (permalink)

 
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In defense of the author the WEC cage is actually smaller than the UFC cage. Not sure how much though.
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