Morning Report: Cesar Gracie affiliate instructor judged Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez

USA TODAY Sports

Commissions gonna commission.

In case you hadn't heard, one of the judges in the Ben Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez bout - Wade Vierra - is a Cesar Gracie affiliate instructor. No, this is not MMA's version of The Onion.

It's hard to know even where to begin comment. Yes, MMA and combat sports generally have the sort of incestuous relationships that make clean breaks between officials and competitors in all circumstances. And no, I'm in no position to outright accuse Vierra of incontestable bias. He scored the fight for Melendez, but that's hardly controversial (although his scorecard could use some explaining given the rounds he gave to Melendez).

Vierra deserves some condemnation for accepting the position. He should've known to recuse himself for his alliance if not his outright history with the key players involved. The real culprit, however, is the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).

Even if Vierra didn't act in bad faith, it matters not at all. A commission this willing to put officials with relationships to key competitors this meaningful and overlapping automatically fails the smell test. It didn't affect the outcome as such this time, but we may not all be so lucky the next time out.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

UFC on FOX 7 payouts. Take a look at the (stated, public) salaries of all the fighters who competed at Saturday's event in San Jose, California. Note the disparity between this and Nate Diaz's last.

New York Times profile on Jon Jones. If you're a hardcore MMA fan, you'll probably know most (if not all) of the information in this profile piece. Bigger story: Jon Jones is the subject of a huge feature in the journalism's paper of record.

35 facts about Melendez-Henderson. Mike Bohn at MMA Mania is the king of digging up nuggets about fighters, events and organizations. Read his latest report.

White wants Nate Diaz at lightweight. Even though he was stopped for the first time in his career with strikes, UFC President Dana White doesn't want the younger Diaz brother to return to welterweight.

GLORY 7 recap. The best striker alive - Giorgio Petroysan - carved up another competitor at kickboxing's premier event.

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MEDIA STEW

Alan Belcher is getting his troll on ahead of his bout with Michael Bisping. Catch up on his latest video blog:

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So, remember that Giorgio Petroysan guy I just mentioned? Watch him dismantle Hafid El Boustati from Saturday's event:

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UFC President Dana White spoke at Stanford's business school recently. Hear what he had to say on a huge variety of topics:

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Did you miss Dana White's post-fight scrum from Saturday? No, you didn't. It's right here for your viewing pleasure:

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I guess truthfully speaking both guys did, but did Matt Brown get busy on Jordan Mein on Saturday night or what? Re-live the highlights:

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THE ROCK GIVES DAPS

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SOMEONE'S BEEN DRINKING

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BOLD PREDICTIONS

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THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUES

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MEMORIES

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SHOTS FIRED

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

- Gray Maynard (11-1-1-1) vs. T.J. Grant (20-5)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's FanPost of the day comes from Dave Strummer who argues that everything that's wrong with MMA can be seen in the decision for Lornez Larkin vs. Francis Carmont:

Larkin scored brutal leg kicks and counters, and when Carmont did eventually get him down in the third round, Larkin did more damage from the bottom than Carmont did on top (which was easy, because Carmont didn't throw a single blow from top position).

So now, not only do you win if you're a wrestler and you're able to dominate position without doing damage, you also get to win fights for simply TRYING (and failing) to LNP your opponent.

In dog training, there's a concept called positive reinforcement, where you reward the behavior you want to see and ignore everything else. Dog sits when you say sit? Treat. Dog keeps running around? Nada. It is an amazingly effective technique.

Applying this to MMA, if you want action fights, where fighters feel compelled to initiate offense and attempt to do damage, you develop a judging system that rewards those behaviors. If you want mind-numbingly boring fights where fighters do their level best to avoid offense, keep the one we have.

If nothing changes, the MMA product as a whole will only get worse. Judges need to be trained to drastically devalue positional control and drastically increase the value they place on acts of aggression that do damage.

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