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Can Real-Time Scoring Solve the MMA Judging Crisis

We have seen fight after fight go the the wrong way. The Judges still use old fashioned score cards and need to tally the scores after the fight. This seems like an archaic approach to judging the fastest growing sport.

So it begs to question what is the solution? A lot of times a fighter may feel he is ahead on the score cards and try to fight conservatively in the final round. Could a solution like Rob Dyrdek’s Street League’s real-time scoring be the solution? The fighters know where they stand on the judges score cards as the fight progresses.

What about just using retired fighters or having a “certified” MMA judging program. The program would make sure that judges understood all aspects of Mixed Martial Arts and they all use the same judging criteria. This allows fighters and trainers to know exactly what is going to be scored.

MMA is such a unique sport where winning is a very important part of the sport. Forget about the fair weather nature of the typical MMA fan just take a look at the economics of the sport.

The typical MMA gym charges $80-$150 a month. This fee is merely the entry fee. You will need private lessons that can cost as much as $100 per session. You will need your supplement and meal program, your personal trainer, equipment and likely a standard gym membership to do your strength training These are all up front expenses.

THen you have find the time to train. This can consist of several training sessions a day at various locations. The average MMA athlete trains 4-6 hours a day 4-5 times a week.

All of the above is really just a small part of what it takes to get to the fight you agreed to take. You are only going to be paid if the fight happens. Most promoters pay a “show” and “win” bonus. So loosing a fight based on a bad judges call can affect 50% of the money the athlete earns.

In the NFL or Baseballt he bad calls by referees don’t cost the players 50% of their wages. They are paid to train and compete. MMA Athletes are independent athletes and the judges are costing them more then a win with these bad calls.

2 responses

  1. Interesting article. Please check out my website and blog.

    Contact me at any time with questions.

    I produce the “certified” program you speak of.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    March 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm

  2. Ka

    People stop blaming the Judges for every fight that don’t go the way you think it should go. Maybe if fighter’s go into the fight to finish the fight like it was intended, then maybe we wouldn’t be harping on what the judges scored. Judges are in place for those hard, slung all out, and jujitsu countering battles where each opponent has given there all to win the fight for 3 or 5 rounds and they both are standing at the end. Never the less, I feel that judge’s and referees not only should train but update their training. However, The State commissions are the ones who choose the officials; I don’t think many people know this. I believe the State commissions are to blame. There is too much of that old shady boxing men’s club bull going on. Just in Illinois, there is an investigation of one of the top officials of the Athletic commission. He was one of the ones who selected the officials that worked boxing and MMA events. I feel Judges that have proven themselves at the amateur and pro level should be given a chance based on there record and experience. The State Commissions should keep track of the officials training’s and bouts worked as Amateurs and later as pro officials. There should be a level system in place so that officials can develop there knowledge and skills. This would allow officials to work their way up and be qualified for big events like Strike force, King of the Cage and UFC! This is done in just about every sport that requires officials. There is a MMA officials training program which nis approved by the ABC. Look up Robert Hinds or Combat Consulting,LLC I also think the media, fighters and trainer should attend a certified MMA officials training.

    March 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

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