Matt Hughes wants to educate judges - talks retirement - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Matt Hughes wants to educate judges - talks retirement

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes has been saying for a little while that he's likely retired, but hasn't officially hung em up yet. He was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani today and basically had the same thing to say - he wouldn't completely rule out another fight, but he's definitely leaning towards retirement. It appears that he has lost some of his desire to compete:

"I wouldn't say I've closed the door [on my career], but I've got my hand on the door handle," Hughes said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "You know it's been over a year since I've fought, and I've having a good time with my family raising my kids, which I think is a bigger thing than me competing, making sure my family is raised right. So I'm having a good time at home with the family, and kind of, maybe, lost the desire just a little bit to compete. I'm not retired yet, but it is looking like that's where I'm going."

His wife and Dana White had been leaning on him to retire, saying that he has nothing left to prove in the sport. He defended Dana, saying that he understands now that White's retirement talk was fair and he understands it better now after a year on the sidelines:

"A year ago, I was 100-percent go," Hughes recalled. "I wanted to compete, was wanting to know who the next opponent he was thinking of. And now, within a year, it's turned into, maybe [Dana's] right. I am a year older, and don't move the way I used to. I was not very happy a year ago, but after a year I can see what he was saying and now I see why he was saying what he did."

One thing he has turned his attention towards is possibly working with the UFC to create an 'academy' to help MMA judges all get on the same page with scoring, since it varies so much from person to person. He also shares what he thinks is most important in scoring - damage:

"When I'm a judge, I can only help the fighters that are right in front of me," Hughes explained. "I would rather have a piece of a school, or help these judges figure out the best way to judge. Of course, I wouldn't be the lead person. I wouldn't want any financial interest in it whatsoever. But by gosh, these judges need to have some knowledge. They can't go from a boxing atmosphere and think that [MMA] is going to be the same way. You just can't."

"I've judged a lot of matches and I've reffed a lot of matches, and so I think I could help out in figuring out what the best criteria is. My number one criteria when it comes to judging a mixed martial arts fight is damage. Whoever does the most damage probably ought to win the round. If you're on bottom, if you're on top, if you're on your feet, whoever does the cumulative most damage in a round, is probably going to win. And some of these judges think that because one guy was on top the whole five minutes, just because he was on top, they think he should have won the round. The bottom guy could have been throwing great elbows, creating a huge amount of damage, but they just don't see that."

I like the idea of it, but White has been quite insistent that the UFC doesn't handle judging and it's on the commissions, so Hughes might have to work with them. Either way, it's good that he's still interested in giving back to the sport, and I'm sure he has a lot of wisdom to offer.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 10:08 AM
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While not a fan of the guy personally, I do respect his MMA knowledge and experience. Matt came to MMA as basically a wrestler like so many other fighters, but he finishes fights. He learned all aspects of the game and I think he would be a great resource for judges and referees to learn from. He could point out when stalling is actually occurring to get fights restarted timely, but only when appropriate. I like his view on damage outweighing control. I think that lends to more exciting fights and finishes.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 10:13 AM
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Love Hughes. Loved him since his country breakfast commercial back in the days when everything the UFC did was cringe-inducingly amateurish. Remember the Xyience energy drink commercials with the stripper?

This would be a great use of his retirement imo. The sad thing is the entrenched judges would be having none of it.

The next generation of MMA judges should be better, but I doubt MMA will still be around on the international stage by then. It will still exist imo, but not like it is now.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 11:26 AM
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Installing an academy for judges is a good idea. People here have talked long about something like that to educate the judges. Hopefully it becomes true with people with name value like Hughes.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 11:45 AM
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I dont see why the athletic commissions can't come together and fund a small program where for example they call in matt hughes run a six week course for judges or somethin like that.
It seems that in TUF 10-8 rounds are the norm now for round that a few years ago would be no way whatsoever a 10-8 round. 10-8 used to be obliteration in the round. Not lying on top and landing a few hard strikes. These 10-8 rounds they are giving out are gona start funkin up some serious fight decisions soon enough never mind TUF.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:22 PM
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Although I'm not Hughes fan, I do respect his accomplishments and his fights for the most part weren't boring which is rare these days from a wrestler.

I agree 100% with top criteria for scoring should be damage. The point of of the sport is to submit, ko or give the most damage possible in order to come out on top. If there is no submission, or ko and it goes to a decision, the person giving the most damage should win. 10-9 rounds make this difficult in which you get matches like Lyoto v Rampage, BJ v GSP 1 etc.. but it's a step in the right direction.

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