I grit my teeth when I write this. It's with frustration that I write this. No question the sport of MMA is new and along with that the rules and enforcement appear to be a work in progress. I'm here to enlighten folks who dare to be shaped and molded with common sense.
Put yourself in a situation when there is 10 seconds or less left in a round. Now put yourself on the bottom of a mounted position. I'm not picky, you can be either face up, or you can be face down. It doesn't really matter. The fact is you're in a bad spot.
So here is the frustration. If I'm the guy on the bottom, isn't covering my head intelligent defense? If I block a punch while standing that is "intelligent", so why is it that blocking punches while on the ground somehow doesn't count? Right. It's because there is a guy on top. Still, am I smarter covering the sides of my head or am I smarter to attempt grabbing the guys wailing fists, failing and then really getting KO'd. I know which choice is actually more intelligent. Do you?
Ah, but I'm not at my point yet. How about there is 10 seconds left in a round? Seems to me that if I cover my head and the guy on top is pounding my arms, I might just be doing that because I KNOW THAT THERE IS ONLY 10 SECONDS LEFT AND I CAN SURVIVE PUNCHES TO MY ARMS FOR THAT AMOUNT OF TIME.
Imagine the ref, while hearing the 10 second clap, telling me to improve my position. Why? Uncovering my head is more "intelligent" when I know that I can survive 10 seconds of lame blocked punches from the top?
So I ask this. Why are refs OBSESSED with fighters improving their position when they are mounted with 10 seconds left in a round? If the guy on the bottom is covering up, perhaps, just maybe, it's more intelligent that trying to do what the ref is asking. The ref asking a fighter to improve their position with 10 seconds left and while being mounted is stupid. Sorry, I've stooped to the level of saying it's stupid.
Joe Rogan made the point. A mounted fighter who tried to improve his position will absolutely leave themselves open for clean strikes whereas covering up at least blocks clean shots. With ten seconds left a fighters needs to be given the benefit of the doubt.
I bring this up because of the opening fight of UFC 174. The ref, with 10 seconds left, is screaming at the guy on the bottom to improve his position. Well, the guy on the bottom was covering his head and the shots being thrown were essentially all blocked by arms. Is that reason enough to stop a fight with seconds left in the round? I saw the guy who lost motion to the ref that he had his thumb in the air. As if to say, hey ref, I'm good. I CAN SURVIVE THIS LAST 10 SECONDS BECAUSE MY ARMS ARE PROTECTING MY HEAD.
So of course when a ref is yelling at a fighter to improve their position, the dominant fighter turns it on. Make it look good! Lots of volume! Who cares about hitting arms! It looks good and the ref has ants in their pants! Maybe they will stop it! Whelp, that strategy works time and time again. It's lame. These guys are the toughest people on the planet. They should be allowed to compete as such.