For years, MMA fans and fighters have decried judging in MMA: the lack of consistency, the difficulty in knowing how the judges will view something, and just the downright poor decisions that are massively influential to the sport. And the most prominent MMA fan of all, UFC commentator Joe Rogan, seems to be getting fed up with it as well.
Rogan has been an outspoken opponent of various aspects of the MMA judging world for a long time, but following UFC 245 which featured a few contentious decisions, and nearly had the main event result in split decision but for the fifth-round TKO win by Kamaru Usman, Rogan once again lamented the current system.
“I think the system sucks,” Rogan told Max Holloway on Rogan’s JRE MMA Show podcast recently. “The 10-point must system. It’s boxing’s system, it’s not our system. We shouldn’t have that system. We should have a more comprehensive system that recognizes everything.”
The 10-point must system is the standard scoring system for all mixed martial arts bouts and was adopted from the boxing scoring system. But boxing and MMA are very different sports, with different modes of engagement, different methods of victory, and even different round lengths, meaning that the 10-point must system sometimes leads to outcomes that run contrary to how the informed public sees the fight, seemingly more often than they do in other judge-based sports. Likewise, many of the prominent MMA judges in the sport are transplants from boxing, which only compounds the issue and, according to Rogan, is another huge issue in the way things are currently run.
“The judges should at least have some martial arts experience, and I know there’s a bunch of them that have never even f*cking trained, they just took some courses,” Rogan said. “...It’s horrible. It’s horrible and they don’t do anything about it. There’s people that have put in bad decision after bad decision and then you see them still being listed as judges, and you’re like ‘This is crazy.’”
And while Rogan doesn’t have a replacement system for the 10-point must system readily in mind, he does have a plan for fixing some of the judging issues that plague MMA.
“They need to fire everyone,” Joe Rogan said. “You know what they need to do man? They should hire ex-fighters... It’s like passing a written test but never having driven a car. That’s what it’s like. ‘Here’s a driver’s license,’ but you don’t even know how to f*cking hit the gas, you don’t know how much brake you should apply.
“When you see some of these people that are judging, you know that they’ve never done anything. They don’t have any idea of what’s going on. They just have a cursory understanding of fighting and that’s not acceptable for the highest level of the game. There’s so many ex-fighters that would make amazing referees or judges.”
Rogan is not the first to suggest such a thing and he won’t be the last. It certainly makes sense and, in recent years, the MMA world has seen former fighters rise up the ranks as referees. Similar things could soon start to happen for judging but, the reality is that may not even fix the problem. At the end of the day, three people sitting cageside are going to be more fallible than millions of people watching the best camera angles on their televisions. So, Rogan suggests increasing the number of judges to mitigate the number of poor decisions.
“We should have more than three judges... Eight is a good number. Nine would be a good number because nine would be a tie-breaker if you had like, four one way, four the other way. I feel like three is ridiculous. Why do you only have three? You know the judges suck already so why do you only have three people that suck?”
Cash grab. ESPN raises the price of UFC pay-per-views starting in January with McGregor vs. Cowboy.
Moving on. Rory MacDonald exits Bellator, signs with PFL.
Curious. Rory MacDonald ‘surprised’ Bellator didn’t make an offer for him to stay, ‘excited’ for future with PFL.
Gone. NAC continues Daniel Pineda’s case, suspends Alex Nicholson four years for multiple steroids.
Suspension. PFL vet Ramsey Nijem suspended nine months for marijuana.
USADA. USADA: Priscila Cachoeira accepts four-month suspension for diuretic.
UFC 245 Rewind.
The A-Side Live Chat.
UFC 245 Fight Motion.
The Thrill and the Agony.
Top finishes from the Korean Zombie.
And top finishes from the rest of the UFC Busan fighters.
Heavy Hands. Discussing UFC 245 and breaking down UFC Busan.
UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Matt Brown and Jon Anik.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Thank you to @Rory_MacDonald for the great fights. Best of luck as you continue your MMA career. pic.twitter.com/OMZeg5EB5Z— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 19, 2019
Henry is gonna be quite disappointed when he finds out he’s not FOTY.
All you out of shape wannabe mma analyst can all bend the knee! Saved a whole division and won a second belt. Enough said 2019 fighter of the year - Triple C https://t.co/gUMqlPyUhs— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) December 18, 2019
An escalation of hostilities.
Damn USADA, NSAC just called your 2 years and raised to 4 years . What you gonna do next . Call the 4 years, raise to 4 1/2 year or go all in on the next brave MFer that tries to play the system— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) December 18, 2019
Tony Ferguson speaks in riddles.
It’s Tiramisu Tuesday On A Wednesday MF’as!!! Next Week We Continue The Fathead Festivities On Regular Schedule # FahHerDeeBurg *Bork Bork* -CSO- #KeepItJollyFoos pic.twitter.com/WKtYbY6oA6— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) December 19, 2019
Psst! I got some fight news coming soon. I'm gonna be fighting someone somewhere on someday at sometime! I'm excited you excited? pic.twitter.com/nsAeaAUCYs— John Dodson III (@JohnDodsonMMA) December 19, 2019
Chase got an 89? No wonder he’s trying to be a fighter.
When you get an 89% on the math test, and it drops your overall grade from 93% to 91.9%, making go from an A to an -A, so you start to think about how you should’ve studied more, where you went wrong in life, and how you’re now going to have to live in a cardboard box... pic.twitter.com/qwIk1mginL— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) December 18, 2019
Hot damn if Kyle Dake comes to MMA after the Olympics that’ll be awesome.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
What are your thoughts on MMA judging?
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It’s horrible and needs to be fixed
It’s fine. Could be better.
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