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Are half points the answer to our judging woes?

Everyone has been complaining about the judging situation, but no one has really been offering any solutions to fix anything. This is mainly because getting Athletic Commissions to change anything is only possible either after the head has been caught dipping his dick in the company employees (that’s how the old saying goes, right?) or if it’s the big annual Association of Boxing Commissions MMA rules meeting.

Last year they tried to add a whole bunch of new dumb weight classes. This year they locked in the definition of ‘back of the head’, added greasing parameters, and specified that women can do five minute fights – In yo face, Dr Johnny Benjamin. There is some confusion about what exactly happens to these rules after they’re decided on at the rules meeting – from what I hear, each commission has to go and make the appropriate changes afterwards which to me kinda defeats the purpose of the meeting – but still, change CAN happen. And maybe next year the ABC will take a look into Dave Meltzer’s suggestion on how to fix MMA scoring:

Instead of the current implementation, this suggested system would include half-points. If a round is even, it should be scored 10-10. If it’s a close round and someone squeaked it out, go 10-9.5. A 10-9 round would be when there is no doubt who won the round, but the round winner didn’t hurt the other fighter to the point a judge would go 10-8.

Would that system lead to more draws, which everyone hates? Probably. Will it eliminate bad decisions? Well, I’ve seen this system implemented in kickboxing and have seen plenty of bad calls, but it should cut back on them, which is the best you can hope for.

I think most of us are in agreement that it’s mainly the judging that sucks and not the scoring, but this new way of scoring would allow even dumb judges to give the obvious score for squeaker rounds: 10-9.5. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that the draws thing worries me slightly, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a scoring system that recognizes the difference between a clear win and a squeaker?

Ironically, the best system according to Meltzer was the original one the UFC used to use until 2000 where the judges just wrote who won the fucking fight on a slip of paper. At the end of the fight. With a marker. Yep, that’s it. Sadly enough, that’s way too straightforward to keep doing now, so we’re stuck with 10 point must systems and scoring criteria that nerfs submissions, leg kicks, and all sorts of other behavior.