An early and pivotal figure in the sport of mixed martial arts, Jeff Blatnick knows MMA regulation better than most. He wasn't just a commentator from UFC 4 to UFC 32 or an Olympic gold medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, he also played a key role in the development of a codified MMA rule set athletic commissions could use to facilitate regulation of the sport in its earlier years.
I caught up with Blatnick at the Grapple in the Big Apple wrestling event in Times Square. We talked about the U.S. men's performance against the Russians in their exhibition matches, chances for gold in the London games and even discussed the state of college wrestling.
But we also turned our conversation to MMA and the abhorrent state of judging. Blatnick has a better perspective than most as a judge in New Jersey (and other places) and is regarded by many as a model of how a judge properly performs their duties. We discussed his scoring in the Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck bout at UFC on Fox 3, the state of judging in mixed martial arts generally, predictions for Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II and much more.