Originally Posted by Liddellianenko
No, takedowns are very valuable and should be weighted heavily in scoring. IMO it all comes down to the roots of MMA... essentially, MMA was designed to be the closest thing to real combat. In the beginning, there was no judging or time limit, no standups, and a whole lot more things you could do to a guy once you took him down. In such a situation, as in a real fight, the guy on top is at a heavy advantage. I mean if you get taken down on the streets and don't have buddies around, you're ****ed pretty bad even with subs ... the guy can hit so many cheap spots, you're pretty much done.
As MMA evolved, time limits and judging were introduced, and more and more areas were made off limits. Now if you got mounted, you could just turn over, and voila, you're magically protected from punches to the back of the head, neck, or spine, by the rules. This kind of thing would get you killed in real combat. Or some dude could have you in side control, but you could chill out and catch your breath, maybe even "be active" from that position because the guy on top isn't allowed to knee you in the head anymore, or stand up and stomp etc. This kinda thing would never work with old rules or in real fighting.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad MMA evolved and became a safer sport... I don't think I would've ever trained it if it meant getting my nuts smashed and never having kids. But I think the scoring should continue to reflect how effective something would be in the absence of all these restrictions. Takedowns SHOULD score huge, because in the absence of all these restrictions and standups, a guy on top could've done a ton of damage. It shouldn't automatically give you the win or be overweighted, but the current scoring system is fine. And they should definitely be scored more than sub "attempts" .. because a sub attempt is just that, something attempted and failed. If you land a sub, great... but the restrictive rules on striking only allow you to take ridiculous unrealistic risks with subs anyway, you shouldn't be rewarded for essentially failing.
My whole take on judging is that if MMA gets too far removed from it's roots and becomes completely unrealistic, it goes the direction of boxing and becomes a pointless boring endeavor. A couple of dudes that throw one punch an hour from behind giant pillows and then hug each other for an hour as soon as the other guy throws. This rule based drag is not what Boxing was meant to be, it was meant to be something that could actually work to some extent in real life, a "combat" sport and not just a sport for it's own sake.
You make some great points here. Its true that the restrictions on what is legal on the ground significantly limit the value of a takedown. Also, if you are making comparisons to a street fight, most surfaces in the world aren't canvas mats and slamming somebody onto a hard surface can be debilitating. If a fighter can't defend a takedown, or do anything from his back, he shouldn't complain about 'lay and pray'
However, I think the fighter on top has to prove that he is capable of the damage that is purportedly possible from that position, and shouldn't be credited for something he hasn't done. In fairness, submission attempts shouldn't be scored either according to this ethic, by way of the fact that you give credit for something that hasn't been accomplished. I do think they should be part of the weighting in case of a draw.
I think you need to consider the difference between full guard and the positions you mention (on the belly, or side control). The points you make about the rules to protect a fighter are pretty incontrivertible in the way they devalue a takedown. (Knees to the head on the ground should be legal imo). But there is a difference between a fighter scoring takedowns defensively (to avoid the standup), staying in the full guard, as opposed to fighters who use the takedown as a platform for leveraged striking, submission attempts, or even more dominant positions.
You shouldn't be credited for anything if a takedown leads to no advancement of position or damage, unless you can show me some outlawed techniques from full guard which are devastating.
Towards the point made towards the principle of simulating a real fight. How do you judge submission attempts that are cut off by the end of the round? I mean these are fight ending scenarios that are ruined by the arbitrariness of the clock. Not to mention fighters being rocked or in danger of a striking flurry.
Also, the problems with pointed takedowns now is that sometimes they lead precisely to the 'point scoring' fighting you are so wary off. For example Chuck Liddell getting the takedown in the Silva fight and standing up again immediately. This is a concious exploitation of the judging system in order to solidify a round.