Former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping has revealed how he and his fellow commentators are looking to improve their knowledge of the MMA judging criteria.
While this past weekend’s UFC Vegas 55 main event, which saw Ketlen Vieira defeat Holly Holm via split decision, has spurred discussion surrounding the judges and the scoring criteria, one group has consistently been subject to scrutiny for their knowledge, or lack of, with regards to how fights are judged: the commentators.
While the reasons for said criticism varies, the most notable topics that have drawn social media reaction among fans and pundits has surrounded Cruz’s frequent suggestion that control time or a late takedown influences the scoring of a round, something that “DC” is also often guilty of, and seemingly was during this past Saturday’s headliner.
Now, those who let out sighs of frustration when the commentators give their thoughts on the scoring of a fight without adequate knowledge of the criteria could soon be adjusting to sighs of relief.
During a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, which discussed the recent judging controversy, Michael Bisping revealed that the UFC commentary team will be attending a seminar in the coming weeks.
The goal of the session will be to ensure that those providing insight during the fights fully understand the criteria, and so can accurately discuss it while on air.
“Unfortunately, it comes down to perception sometimes, which it should not. There is a clear-cut judging criteria for how the judges are supposed to score the fights,” noted Bisping. “Sometimes, maybe the judges, if they prefer striking or grappling, maybe subconsciously it leans towards that, but it shouldn’t.
“As I say, there’s a clear-cut criteria. In fact, just so the rest of the commentators and I are better informed, we actually have a seminar coming up soon,” revealed Bisping. “We’re gonna sit down with some of the judges and referees and go through it. They’re just gonna explain it better to us, so we can express that then to the watching public.”
While some have continued to suggest that the issue surrounds inadequate judges and incorrect scoring, others have claimed that the real issue is the failure of the majority of fans and fighters to read and educate themselves on how MMA bouts are actually scored.
Given the influence that commentators have on the listening ears, especially former champions of the sport like Bisping and Cormier, perhaps an accurate understanding of the criteria on their part will lead to the education of the masses during future broadcasts, which in turn, could see the often-used “robbery” phrase thrown around less following close fights.
Takedowns means nothing without damage huh?
This guy knows alot.
Too many fucking judges to get a grip on this shit.Too many wide range of opinions.
There’s a lot of rounds where very little happens and there’s nothing to score. In those circumstances, a late takedown - even without follow-up - may be the difference.
It wouldnt come under the primary criteria of effective striking/grappling, but in a round with little action, it would satsify effective aggressiveness and fighting area control.
Nothing might be a stretch, but they mean very little in the current scoring criteria…same with octagon control. I cringe every time I hear DC talking about how “controlling people on the fence for a long time” counts for something, because it really doesn’t based on the current scoring criteria.
If Fighter A lands 10 significant strikes, and Fighter B lands 5…but Fighter B holds fighter A against the fence for 3 minutes…the current scoring criteria says that Fighter A should win the round.
The part that’s REALLY tough, though…it’s difficult to determine which strikes are more “significant” than others. Most people seem to look at the punches, mostly to the head as being most important. We’ve seen several fights where one guy lands considerably more punches, but doesn’t kick at all…and their opponent lands a bunch of leg kicks throughout the fight.
Lost of people ignore the leg kicks and give more credit to the punches, but the scoring criteria leave so much of that up to the judge. It really is a difficult sport to score, and that’s why you have so many guys disagreeing. Even guys like Big John, who runs one of the only nationally certified judge training courses will often disagree with other guys with similar training.
The issue isn’t the judges being incompetent most of the time, the issue is the scoring criteria is so fucking vague that it makes it difficult to score close fights. If a guy is stuck in a triangle but gets out after 90 seconds…how do you score it? How can you tell how close it was? If the guy stuck in the triangle is a BJJ black belt, and he was likely never in real danger, does that make it less effective? How can you tell from outside the cage how tight it is? Even if you determine it was pretty tight, how many effective strikes does it take to outweigh the submission attempt? How many jabs or leg kicks? None of this shit is spelled out, so one judge can determine that 5 clean jabs were more effective than the submission attempt, and one judge can say the opposite…and it’s impossible to say which is right based on the current criteria.
Judging will always be a problem. The real issue for me is the inconsistency between state commissions regarding the rule set. How are we supposed to know and/or remember which state is using which rule set?
some good posts
There has been some shit decisions in the past that affected title winners and fighters lives. I can’t believe there is an uproar over the judging now over Vieira/Holm and Park/Anders when the decision actually went the right way. Holm and Anders lost the fight and their wall and stall gaming of the fight game didnt work because in the moments they werent stalling they were outstruck. I cant believe people want to reward that shit.