Can I Make a Suggestion RE: MMA Judging?

Since I started writing for The Garv, I've been on a bit of a crusade as far as understanding and analyzing the problems with MMA judging.

I've spent a lot of time fanatically breaking down controversial fights and applying the results to the unified scoring criteria, and I've been lucky enough to be able to communicate with the two big boys of the MMA athletic commission (Keith Kizer, Nick Lembo).

Here's what I found:

By far the most shocking and disturbing fact is that the vast majority of both fans and MMA media do not adhere strictly to the unified rules when arguing a decision; in fact, I've seen a half-dozen articles that adamantly argue a decision while referencing the WRONG criteria (severely outdated).

How can we, as fans and media, argue the result and not follow the same method? How can we rattle off fact after fact about fighters and fights, but NOT know the scoring criteria like the back of our hands?

KNOW THE RULES.

If we continue to argue that, "Clearly, he beat his ass for most of the rounds!", our arguments don't hold water when compared to a judge who has calculated each category and sub-category according to the criteria. Let's use the same foundation of scoring so that we are "speaking the same language" and not making a flippant, apples/oranges argument.

APPLY THE CRITERIA EXACTLY AS ITS WRITTEN.

When you study the criteria and start to apply it, you will find that the "gray areas", the passages that are too vague and ambiguous, and the parts that need improvement clearly come to light. Personally, I've found that the ten-point must is really not a bad system if used correctly.

For example, I feel the entire controversy surrounding Penn/Edgar pertained to the scoring of "octagon control" (top priority behind striking/grappling) when the fight stays standing.

Like Shogun/Machida, when the striking is pretty damn close and you need to fall back on the supporting categories to make a better decision, the verbiage for control is geared mostly towards who is deciding if the fight stays standing or goes to the ground--the description does not adequately cover how to score control between two strikers.

Like I did with Shogun/Machida and Couture/Vera, I was able to try to get a grasp on all of the issues stemming from those fights, and bounce them off Nick Lembo so he could provide detailed answers on how the rules are intended to be applied. I have an email out to Nick right now, who is going to set aside time to explain how octagon control is intended to be scored, and how it should have been scored for Penn/Edgar.

His answers will let us know: 1) the judges scored it wrong, 2) the fans scored it wrong, 3)the criteria needs to be updated/revised, or 4) its simply subject to the personal opinion of the judge.

The more we can present logical and intelligent questions/arguments, the more logical and intelligent answers we'll get, which equates to taking firm strides towards uncovering what the problems are and how they can be fixed.

The athletic commissions have a vested interest to improve this as well--it's THEIR JOBS. They want MMA to improve and grow and be the best sport it can be. Shouldn't we help them with that, as the true life's blood of the sport, by adopting their methods and making a logical case? Even if you want to learn it just to shoot it down, you still have to learn it. Then you can say, "I'm doing it your way now, and part A does not match Part B because...."

I know Kizer takes a lot of shit on the forum, but in my few interactions with him, he was prompt and more than willing to help me out. Anyone familiar with Nick Lembo knows he is a 100% no-bullshit, straight shooter with an extensive history in martial arts who knows what he's talking about.

Here is the interview I did with Nick after Shogun/Machida and Couture/Vera. Are these not the types of answers we want about scoring and judging?

http://thegarv.com/Rapidfire-QA-with-New-Jersey-s-Nick-Lembo-on-Judging-in-MMA.html

There is a link to the most current set of scoring criteria in that article as well, which can be downloaded as a pdf if anyone wants to save a copy.

Sorry for the FRAT, my two cents, etc...

ttt

Gokudamus stole my name - ttt


!!!!! LOL @ the new sn.

What fight did you bet on?

I bet Mousasi to beat Lawal

goku was merciful though, i had planned on naming him Cretard Junior

does the garv pay you? just curious

Good suggestion.

Nipples of Kirik - does the garv pay you? just curious



He started out paying me a very small monthly fee, but unless your website brings in revenue, there really isn't any money in it.

I don't get paid any more, which is fine, because the reason I'm doing it and the reason The Garv has his site is simply because we love the sport.

A lot of people get really pissy when we post links and try to build interest in our site, because they think that driving traffic there is more money in our pockets; when, in actuality, the only satisifaction I seek and get is just seeing how many hits the articles get, which directly translates into how much interest I'm generating with my writing.

Now that I've had some experience with "MMA journalism", I would absolutely love to find a paying opportunity anywhere in MMA. It was huge for me to be able to write for The Garv, because he basically gave me an open platform to voice any opinion that I wanted, and I hope to keep writing for The Garv as long as possible.

I've been screaming this for a long ass time on every post that's about a "robbery" or "bad judging".

The fans are the problem. They will judge a fight based on their own system, not that actual UFC criteria. They'll score things their way because that what they think should count. Add in some favoritism, ie their favorite fighter and some biased judging and of course you'll have "robberies" and "bad judging" all of the time. Not to mention that they have absolutely NO previous judging experience. Post fight, they dig up CompuStrike numbers but then for some reason fail to read that on ComputStrike's own website this pearl is on there:

"The CompuStrike program is in no way, shape, or form designed to judge a MMA event.
It is designed to simply display a fighter's activity."

Morons the majority of them are.

"Like Shogun/Machida, when the striking is pretty damn close"

The striking was not close in Shogun/Machida :P

orcus - "Like Shogun/Machida, when the striking is pretty damn close"

The striking was not close in Shogun/Machida :P




Leg kicks don't win fights.

Uncle Justice - 
orcus - "Like Shogun/Machida, when the striking is pretty damn close"

The striking was not close in Shogun/Machida :P




Leg kicks don't win fights.



Tell that to Jose Aldo. Get Cecil to come with you.

Your sarcasm detector is as as sharp and effective as Cecil's score cards.

Uncle Justice - 
orcus - "Like Shogun/Machida, when the striking is pretty damn close"

The striking was not close in Shogun/Machida :P




Leg kicks don't win fights.



correct =)

The best solution is to just call me before you read the decision... I'll give you the best possible decision. It's actually simple. You calculate the outcome based on the position of the sun in relation to the moon, whether my laundry is done or not, and which day of the week it is (we all know fights usually happen on Saturday but sometimes Wednesday or Sunday).



Multiply that by the television perception meter reading and divide it by the judges' years of training. Add in the knockdowns and the cost of the phone call and you can almost guess what my decision will be. Kind of like predicting the judges' decision nowadays... Easy! Like shooting fish in the ocean.




there is nothing wrong with fans being upset over a "bad" decision even if 99% of us don't understand the unified rules and the general judging criteria's.. we pay for the events and we generally expect great fights. If a fight is very close then let it be just that.. a draw. 

uncle justice a couple of questions. 

do you think the commissions should use judges and refs that only work mma events? is there enough mma events that can support mma-only refs and judges? and why no monitors for the judges? it can't be that much of an added cost..

Compustrike and Fightmetric don't help.

As you might figure, I cannot disagree with your more Uncle re: the 10 point must system. It is inadequate and INCREDIBLY vague and leaves far too much to the imagination for judges to "interpret", regardless of what you might think.



Cage/Ring Control is possibly the most horrible concept in the Unified Rules and, as u pointed out, the place where most bad decisions occur. And I do not believe it to be a matter of following an out dated set of rules.



It is a matter of figuring out who is "controling" the octogon when one fighter is backing away and counter punching and the other is moving forward and potentially getting out pointed.



It is a matter of one fighter constantly pushing another fighter up against the cage and FAILING to get the takedown (Couture/Vera) yet winning because he is pushing his opponent against the fence.



It is a matter of Anderson Silva dancing around and running away and referees being terrified to take a point away because it will end up deciding the fight in a point system that has so few points.



I could go on and on and on...........because the rules are not just vague they are also overly complicated (if you can believe that combination). The whole thing needs to be trashed.



And of course, here's what I think it needs to be replaced with : )



Alternate MMA Scoring System

madmav - <p>there is nothing wrong with fans being upset over a "bad" decision even if 99% of us don't understand the unified rules and the general judging criteria's.. we pay for the events and we generally expect great fights. If a fight is very close then let it be just that.. a draw. 

uncle justice a couple of questions. 

do you think the commissions should use judges and refs that only work mma events? is there enough mma events that can support mma-only refs and judges? and why no monitors for the judges? it can't be that much of an added cost..</p>



To clarify, I agree that there is nothing wrong with fans voicing their opinion; this was just a suggestion to those who are strongly encouraged to "do something" about it, and somewhat of an "FYI" on how few I've encountered adhere to the criteria in their arguments.


"do you think the commissions should use judges and refs that only work mma events?"

Absolutely, of course. As with any job, those who have a narrow focus excel better and faster than those with many.


"is there enough mma events that can support mma-only refs and judges?"

Great question. I would assume the answer is "no", and that, like any and every other job in America, individuals are maxed out to their capacity and doing a job that 2 or 3 people used to do.


"and why no monitors for the judges? it can't be that much of an added cost"

I want to say that Keith Kizer addressed this in a thread here, and if I recall correctly, he said that monitors were either used, available to be, or that he was open to look into it. My blue name is dead, so I wish I could search and give a better answer.

I'll put those last two questions on my list for future interviews though. Thanks for the solid input.

Judging is guessing - period. It is subjective, and will always be so.

If both fighters are still willing and able to fight at the end of the allotted time, give them both "D"s

Once you have fighters with 3-3-12 records, it will be easy to see which ones just try to survive, and which ones actually try to end the fight.

Fighters have adapted to the rules. No sense risking making a mistake (losing), when they can just score a few points and immbolize their opponent for last few minutes of the round, and get a "W".

The only way to stop the trend, is to stop rewarding them with "Wins" for doing it. The only way to do that is to get rid of the judges and start giving "Draws" for fights that are not finished.

fight4real - The best solution is to just call me before you read the decision... I'll give you the best possible decision. It's actually simple. You calculate the outcome based on the position of the sun in relation to the moon, whether my laundry is done or not, and which day of the week it is (we all know fights usually happen on Saturday but sometimes Wednesday or Sunday).

Multiply that by the television perception meter reading and divide it by the judges' years of training. Add in the knockdowns and the cost of the phone call and you can almost guess what my decision will be. Kind of like predicting the judges' decision nowadays... Easy! Like shooting fish in the ocean.





First order of business:

If a 12 to 6 o'clock elbow is executed in a different time zone, is it still illegal?