A Study in Accuracy: Cecil Peoples Vs. The Rules

This article went up yesterday, and since the topic is still being debated, I thought I would post it.



Upon reviewing the article this morning, it does appear to be slanted against Peoples, but it's not intended to be entirely.



This is nothing more than a copy of Cecil's explanation of his method of scoring in the CageReport interview he did, and his comments also allow conclusions to be drawn about his interpretation of the rules and how the unified rules are being applied to modern MMA matches.  After Cecil's comments, a passage from the unified rules are cited.



This is not meant to disparage Peoples; it's a quick piece comparing his application of the rules versus the actual rules themselves so the reader can determine if they're being implemented correctly. 



A Study In Accuracy: Cecil Peoples Vs. The Rules


Posted by Dallas Winston | MMA, interviews | Tuesday 27 October 2009 5:41 pm


Cecil Peoples ring 


Cecil Peoples, who represented one-third of the official judging team for UFC 104, explained his reasoning behind the controversial decision handed down in the Shogun Rua vs. Lyoto Machida main event in an interview with CageReport


His statements appear in their entirety below, followed by citations from the unified MMA rules that pertain to (and on frequent occasion, conflict with) Peoples’ analysis.  Where appropriate, allusions to relevant examples are noted for purposes of reference. 


The rules are published here under section “13:46-24A.13 Judging”.  The official rules categorize and define the following elements, in order of importance, to be used as the absolute judging criteria for an MMA fight:  effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.


We begin with the opening statement from Cecil Peoples on why he scored the fight for Lyoto Machida.


“First of all what you need to understand is that from where the judges are sitting, we get to see things that the fans at home may miss. Mauricio Rua was being aggressive but it wasn’t effective aggressiveness which is what we as the judges look for when scoring a fight.”


(h) Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike.


Author’s note:  “forward”


“The way I saw it, Lyoto was landing the more cleaner and damaging strikes throughout the fight – if you take a look at the judging criteria clean strikes are valued more-so than the quantity of strikes landed.”


(e) Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal heavy strikes landed by a contestant.


Author’s note:  “total number of  legal heavy strikes”.  Reference fightmetric.com’s technical analysis of the number of blows landed in the fight here.



“You have to keep in mind we always the favour the fighter who is trying to finish the fight, and leg kicks certainly don’t do that.”





FULL ARTICLE AT THE GARV


 I'm interested to hear some feedback on whether or not people think Cecil was correctly applying the unified rules based on his description on how he scored the fight?




“I recognize the fact that Rua did have a few takedown attempts during the course of the fight however Lyoto defended them all successfully which counts as effective grappling in his favour, where as ununsuccessful takedown attempts are not scored at all.”



Applied to striking, Starnes would be outpointing Quarry. 



Edit: Also, I do get it that power strikes to the head are worth more than power strikes to the leg or body, but good leg kicks have long been undervalued. Were Cecil to take a leg kick from Shogun, I would venture that he would revise his stance (pun unintentional). Heck not even Shogun, let my MT instructor chop him down once. He'll be curled up in a ball crying like a baby.

blue63 - This article points out everything wrong with using these piss poor boxing judges who know little to nothing about the sport theyre judging or the rules of said sport.



The judging system for American MMA is long due for a vast overhaul, but I'm sure Keith Kizer will be in here shortly making snide remarks saying that current judging is sufficient and that thousands of diehard fans have no idea what they're talking about.
Actually, the methodology of scoring is not in question, here. It's the application of the criteria, not the criteria itself, that really should be in question.

Zedlepln - “I recognize the fact that Rua did have a few takedown attempts during the course of the fight however Lyoto defended them all successfully which counts as effective grappling in his favour, where as ununsuccessful takedown attempts are not scored at all.”



Applied to striking, Starnes would be outpointing Quarry.


The thing that really irks me is that Peoples states that he gave points to Machida for "effective grappling", which is the second highest priority when scoring a fight.



Unfortunately, defending takedown attempts is not covered ANYWHERE under "effective grappling".



(f) Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.



I suppose it might have been a simple mistake, but even that bothers the hell out of me.  For these people judging MMA fights, the unified rules should be The Holy Grail.  They should know these rules in and out, frontwards and backwards.



So, either Peoples made an honest mistake when referencing effective grappling in the article, or he doesn't understand the criteria as it's intended to be applied.



He does the same thing with the "effective striking" category.





 

Zedlepln - 
blue63 - This article points out everything wrong with using these piss poor boxing judges who know little to nothing about the sport theyre judging or the rules of said sport.



The judging system for American MMA is long due for a vast overhaul, but I'm sure Keith Kizer will be in here shortly making snide remarks saying that current judging is sufficient and that thousands of diehard fans have no idea what they're talking about.
Actually, the methodology of scoring is not in question, here. It's the application of the criteria, not the criteria itself, that really should be in question.


 I don't necessarily agree.



At least, another thrust for doing the article in this format was to determine if the rules and the way they're described play a role.



I'm not saying the official judging criteria plays an equal role, but I think that the description of the judging criteria should also be equally scrutinized in this situation.  I'm just throwing that out there.


Uncle Justice - 

(f) Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.

The last clause should be proof enough that most judges do not understand the criteria for evaluating this element of the game.

Zedlepln - 
Uncle Justice - 

(f) Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.

The last clause should be proof enough that most judges do not understand the criteria for evaluating this element of the game.



 There have been many examples where this wasn't apparently implemented.



Thanks for your comments and interest, Zedlepln.

Uncle Justice - 
Zedlepln - 
blue63 - This article points out everything wrong with using these piss poor boxing judges who know little to nothing about the sport theyre judging or the rules of said sport.



The judging system for American MMA is long due for a vast overhaul, but I'm sure Keith Kizer will be in here shortly making snide remarks saying that current judging is sufficient and that thousands of diehard fans have no idea what they're talking about.
Actually, the methodology of scoring is not in question, here. It's the application of the criteria, not the criteria itself, that really should be in question.


 I don't necessarily agree.



At least, another thrust for doing the article in this format was to determine if the rules and the way they're described play a role.



I'm not saying the official judging criteria plays an equal role, but I think that the description of the judging criteria should also be equally scrutinized in this situation.  I'm just throwing that out there.





Yeah, I need to revise my original statement, which were really intended to address round scoring and 10 point must system as previously defended by Keith Kizer. As you have already highlighted, the circumstances that make a valid score make for worthy tipics of discussion.



Good thread by the way.

As far as 'effective grappling' is concerned...if you can't take me down, I am the more effective grappler.

In this way, his view of Machida's takedown defense winning the grappling is correct.

 why is cecil even relevant? he is a moron....

Zed,



Thank you, and I agree.



Here's what I meant in my comment on the scoring criteria:



Shogun was definitely the fighter moving forward in the vast majority of the exchanges, and he landed the higher volume of strikes.  Since there was no grappling in the fight, that means there were four effective categories, in this order:  striking, control, aggression, and defense.



This would mean that Shogun clinched the most important category, and the 3rd most important category, and Lyoto generally won numbers 2 and 4.



 

Uncle Justice -  I'm interested to hear some feedback on whether or not people think Cecil was correctly applying the unified rules based on his description on how he scored the fight?







 Of course he wasn't, just like the people who insist the fight could have gone either way don't understand the criteria, either.

DJLastCall - As far as 'effective grappling' is concerned...if you can't take me down, I am the more effective grappler.



In this way, his view of Machida's takedown defense winning the grappling is correct.


 Avoiding/resisting takedown attempts is not even COVERED under "effective grappling".  How the hell can it be correct?  LOL



(f) Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.



blue63 - 
Uncle Justice -  ^Thank you, and I agree.



Here's what I meant in my comment on the scoring criteria:



Shogun was definitely the fighter moving forward in the vast majority of the exchanges, and he landed the higher volume of strikes.  Since there was no grappling in the fight, that means there were four effective categories, in this order:  striking, control, aggression, and defense.



This would mean that Shogun clinched the most important category, and the 3rd most important category, and Lyoto generally won numbers 2 and 4.



Going by the fact that Machida punched Shoguns forearms 17 times, you could even possibly give Rua the defense portion as well.


 You are 100% correct on all of your posts in this thread.



Thank you.

Steve Montgomery -  why is cecil even relevant? he is a moron....
He's "relevant" because he's deciding the fight of the top level of MMA fighters with his interpretation of the unified rules. 

 

gangsta101 - Octagon Control



1. The fighter who is dictating the pace, place and position of the fight.

2. A striker who fends off a grappler's takedown attempt to remain standing and effectively strike is octagon control.


3. A grappler who can takedown an effective standing striker to ground fight is octagon control.

4. The fighter on the ground who creates submission, mount or clean striking opportunities



Machida did 1 & 2 throughout the fight, Shogun did nothing that constitues as Octagon control, Cecil is right he knows his stuff.
Yes, this is one of (and really, the only) think I agree with Cecil on.



Unfortunately, "octagon control" only ranks 3rd in the grand scheme of things.  His comments kinda prove that he does not "know his stuff".



(c) Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.

(d) Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear in (c) above, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.

 

 Orcus, thanks for making an appearance.



Pain4Blood, effective defense would also be counted for resisting takedowns.


I don`t have to read those stupid rules to know who won a fight.



Peoples is a joke and a unfunny one at that.

Pain4Blood2 - IMO, Cecil Peoples is not the most egregious judge/ref in MMA. I think people concentrate too much on him when there are much worse people out there. Sure he is bad and should not have the job, but others who are far, far worse seem to get no flack.



John Shorely is the worst fucking judge in the history of boxing and MMA. I just wish people would give more attention to guys like Shorely who are completely fucking incompetent. Peoples is ignorant and should be fired, but he is not the worst.


 I'm not overly familiar with Shorely, but is he getting high profile main events like Cecil?