While the UFC has basically said they’re ignoring problems with judging and reffing in the sport until they finish getting the sport regulated everywhere, it looks like some other people in the sport are stepping up trying to make a difference. From Dave Meltzer’s Yahoo column:
Well-known MMA officials McCarthy, Nelson “Doc” Hamilton, and Herb Dean will be speaking on July 26 before the California State Athletic Commission, united in an attempt to change the current judging system.
Hamilton, one of the most experienced judges in the sport, and McCarthy and Dean, the two most respected referees, are all proponents of the half-point system, which has been used in kickboxing.
Under that system, a close round would be scored 10-9.5, a clear but not dominant round is 10-9, a dominant but not overwhelmingly damaging round would be 10-8.5 and a totally one-sided round would be scored 10-8. Hamilton is also trying to come up with tie-breaker criteria in the event of a draw, like is used in judo and wrestling tournaments.
The most significant flaw in the current system is that whether a fighter squeaks by in a round, or strongly wins the round but doesn’t have the opponent near being finished, both are scored 10-9. This can lead to a fighter who completely dominates one round but barely loses the other two coming out on the wrong end of the scorecard despite doing more damage overall in the fight.
This isn’t the first time reporter Dave Meltzer has pimped half points, so I think it’s safe to say he’s a fan of the idea. Personally, adding half numbers make my brain throb and I have no idea why we can’t just go 10-9 close, 10-8 clear, and 10-7 blowout. But when you’ve still got boxing judges infesting MMA like a nest of cockroaches that just won’t die, I suppose anything you can do to make them understand this is a different sport is a good thing.