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Old 03-11-2011, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Espn UFC Podcast: Dan Hardy suggests 9 judges for MMA scoring minefield

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judging in MMA remains one of the most contentious areas within the sport. It remains open to debate. Every other week we hear ‘robbery’ when results are announced . Barely a week goes by without the subject being debated, and there are times when scoring and judging in MMA appears to be a dark, muddy mire.

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The three-round contest last week between Diego Sanchez and Martin Kampmann at UFC: Live split writers, fans and judges. On this week’s ESPN UFC Podcast, hosted by your correspondent, we (I’m joined each week by Ben Blackmore deputy sport editor as ESPN.co.uk and Chris Park UK rep for MMA Torch) delved deep into MMA judging, speaking to respected referee Marc Goddard, and called on the view of UFC welterweight Dan Hardy.

Hardy thinks no less than nine judges should be used for MMA fights, and believes that as the sport progresses, ex-fighters should join the ranks of judges, and gain schooling at seminars. Hardy also revealed that he, too, would like to be involved as an official, judging fights when his career over. Hardy is in preparation for UFC Fight Night Seattle on March 26, and picked holes in the armoury of his opponent Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.

Hardy believes that Johnson has cardio problems… and reveals the two men are friends, so this will not be a smack-talk-fulled few weeks.

Referee Goddard was enlightening on the Unified Rules of MMA, and argued that that we should all – fans, writers, observers and officials – revealing that when he gives seminars 9 out of 10 judges sometimes see fights differently. Marc is convinced that many MMA fans, new and old, do not understand the Unified Rules, and how to apply them. H e explains it is how ‘effective’ is applied and interpreted in four different areas. His findings in his clinics that so many different interpretations to fights can be found by judges is fascinating. The controversy over judging will never really go away, eithe, as far as I am concerned. Shocking, or the way it will always be ? Boxing has had contentious decisions for 150 years, so how will MMA, with multiple skills involved, ever refine its scoring ?

Or do we just love it as part of the sport, the human error, perception and subjectivity that leaves us all discussing the facets to exhaustion, in the office, down the pub, or over the dinner table ?

Elsewhere, Georges St-Pierre has been in London this week, training with Roger Gracie behind closed doors – jiu jitsu against Jake Shields ? Perhaps, but my sources tell me he has also been training sprawl and brawl, too, with several British fighters. Who said the UK was behind the rest of the world when the best come here to train (I know – Roger is Brazilian). Debate with me on the merits of a GSP superfight against Anderson Silva. My view is that it is a step too far.
Interesting Podcast.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think nine judges for each fight is excessive, but even bumping hte number up to five would for sure help stop these ridiculous decisions we have been seeing recently (so many more recently than in past years, I'm not sure why).
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think nine judges for each fight is excessive, but even bumping hte number up to five would for sure help stop these ridiculous decisions we have been seeing recently (so many more recently than in past years, I'm not sure why).
Dan has a point. Having 3 rounds, each judged using the absurd 10 point must system, is ridiculous. If they refuse to open up the scoring then using more judges will have the same effect. They can be sat around the octagon covering all angles. Its a good idea if you ask me. Dunno why I never thought of it before.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If the actualy standard of judging doesn't get better then it;'ll have little to no effect at all. I
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Usually a larger sample size means less chance of failure, so I guess more judges would help. Nine sounds a bit much though, maybe 5 would do.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I prefered Dan's idea of juging panels being made up of ex fighters, or at least have specific judges JUST for MMA.

At the mo he is right that you might have 2 BJJ experts and a boxing judge on the panel and in reality they know less than most in the arena about MMA!
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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correct me if im wrong but the way i see it is
if a guy take you down and you get up FAIL.
if a guy takes u down and u sweep him FAIL.
if a guy take you down and stays in your guard rabbit punching you without damage FAIL.
the rest explains it self.
BJ vs Fitch good decision?
please be gentle on me its just my opion
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by edlavis88 View Post
I prefered Dan's idea of juging panels being made up of ex fighters, or at least have specific judges JUST for MMA.

At the mo he is right that you might have 2 BJJ experts and a boxing judge on the panel and in reality they know less than most in the arena about MMA!
I was thinking that, too. It absolutely makes sense to have people judge the fights who know from personal experience how much impact a certain situation/move/technique has on the fight. Preferably it should be ex-fighters with a more or less balanced KO-Submission ratio on their record to diminish the bias.

I'm also with Hammerlock2.0 that 5 judges would be an acceptable compromise to get more reliable decisions. Maybe with the additional rule that a 3-2 scoring would be considered a draw.

And they definitely have to get rid of this 10point-must system they are using at the moment. They somehow must find a way to score rounds differently according to the dominance factor in the specific rounds.

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Or do we just love it as part of the sport, the human error, perception and subjectivity that leaves us all discussing the facets to exhaustion, in the office, down the pub, or over the dinner table ?
If that happens once in a while like in football it's ok for the fans to have something to discuss emotionally, but when it happens on every card it really gets just annoying and makes the sport uncredible.

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Old 03-12-2011, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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His idea misses the crux of the whole problem. The problem is you have a pool of judges that is too small, and contains too many inexperienced candidates.

If you take 9 of those same people instead of 3, the only thing you will change is your budget. You'll just pay 3 times as much for crappy decisions.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Or they could ban Cecil Peoples from judging and instantly reduce the number of bullshit decisions by at least 50%.
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