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Demian Maia is wondering where all the 10-8s went

It’s a good thing I wasn’t at UFC 156 because I would have hauled off and punched anyone in the face who had the temerity to boo Demian Maia’s amazing hoo-hitsuing of Jon Fitch. Maia dominated the fight from start to finish and spent two rounds an inch away from sliding his arm under Fitch’s neck and choking him out. If you can’t appreciate that shit, go watch some WWE or kickboxing or something.

But it wasn’t just fan appreciation that Maia was denied on Saturday. The judges also robbed him of two and arguably three 10-8 rounds. It seems like total grappling dominance means butkis in Vegas. Not shocking considering the bumbling trio of boxing judges the state continues to employ for UFC events, but frustrating none the less. Even Maia had something to say about it:

“I don’t know why the judges never 10-8 or 10-7. 10-9 is like the fight is near and then if you dominate it should be 10-8. If it’s really dominating it should be 10-7. And the judges need to give that because it’s different and it can change the fighting game.”

Just another way that grapplers are disadvantaged by shitty judging. You can’t win off your back. No amount of grapplemurdering will earn you a 10-8. And your opponent is free to grab the cage and your gloves as much as he wants without any fear of losing a point. With all these factors, it’s no surprise that jiu jitsu took such a backseat to sprawl n brawl over the past few years.

Fortunately, guys like Demian Maia are showing the gentle art can be just as effective as it ever was. While you can’t discount the new size advantage he has at welterweight, the biggest change we’ve seen is his aggressiveness. He goes for the takedown and submission with laser-like focus. How many other guys with world-class jiu jitsu could reinvigorate their games if they did the same?

More Maia takedown supremacy after the jump!

  • SteelBreeze

    Yeah and everyone saying Maia “out-Fitched Fitch” is dumb. Maia was on the offensive the entire time.

  • Nachtfalter

    I don’t think this has anything to do with an anti-grappling bias. Most MMA judges (and Vegas judges in particular) don’t give 10-8 rounds. Period.

    You have beat your opponent to death, wake him back up Lazarus style and kill him again to get a 10-8 (see Maynard/Edgar). It’s one of the many, many things wrong with the regulatory side of our sport.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Such a dope fight. And maaaaad props to Fitch for his Beard of Unchokability.

  • Nepal

    If you reversed the situation and had Fitch on top for the 13 minutes or so landing zero sig strikes and not coming anywhere close to getting his opponent in danger via subs, would you give Fitch a 10-8? Of course not. Maia dominated the grappling, he didn’t land one sig strike in 15 minutes and didn’t come remotely close to landing one sub in 15 minutes. Positional control for the whole fight does not a 10-8 make.

    I watched the fight live then re-watched it after getting the HD torrent down…. oops, did I type that out loud? Where’s the delete button? It was an amazing fight to watch only I think because I’ve never seen a fight dominated in the way Maia did it. Regardless of how cool and unique it was, nothing was done but body control. The judges (amazingly) got it right.

  • McBayne

    why can’t ppl just accept 10-9’s/10-8’s the way they are? Seems like a cop-out of fighters who’ll be submission or bust like Maia. He grapplefucked one of the best but it was one long RNC attempt. Had Fitch ever been in a situation where i thought he’d get choked or punched out i’d probably think 10-8 was necessary but that situation never arose. 10-9 is the default score for piggybacking and liver punches – congrats if you did it to one of the best, that doesn’t mean your round was more deserving of an 10-8 than someone else’s – phenomenal performance for Maia, 30-27 UD is fine – pick you battles for scoring in otherplaces ryan and do a podcast and give some of us our stars back

  • Oontyex

    in terms of grappling, judges only have eyes for takedowns and top position, regardless of if the person pops right back up straight away with no damage ‘that takedown in the last 20 seconds might have stolen the round’ or if theyre inside an active guard constantly defending sweeps and submission while giving no offense ‘thats positional control’

    that probably dont even understand how having the back is a more dominant position than mount

  • kwagnuth

    I don’t give a flying fuck if he earned a 10-8 or not as long as I don’t have to see another article with Fitch whining about why he’s not getting his title shot. I’ll take Maia over Fitch any day. Hell I might even get excited to see him take on George.

    Dana should try and make the Fitch Kos fight happen again and see what happens. Tell them the winner will be back in the title hunt.

  • Letibleu

    I tried to rewatch the fight but find myself fast forwarding to Overeem getting KTFO every time.

  • Nachtfalter

    Why can’t “ppl” accept the way rounds are scored now? Easy. Because the way rounds are scored now is wrong both in principle and in terms of the current wording of the unified rules. You may well accept ineptitude and general stupidity if that’s the way you wanna roll. I don’t.

  • matthewpolly

    The 10 point must system is a terrible system, but if we are going to use it (and after 100 years of boxing, we are and it’s not going to change), then Maia didn’t deserve any 10-8s. In boxing you don’t get a 10-8 for dominating a round, you get it for knocking your opponent down. The grappling equivalent would be a submission that almost but didn’t quite work, like Belfort’s armbar on Jones. At no point was Fitch in any danger of being finished. 30-27.

  • CAP

    Fitch = Choke proof and carpet burn resistant. He can’t finish people but he’s also hard as hell to get finished.

  • frickshun

    Pollywog–>I agree w/everything but your last 2 sentences….if we’re going to shoehorn our sport into a 10 point must system……then you have to allow for utter domination for 5 straight minutes where the opponent does nothing. You should give that a 10-8 & rounds that are almost finished but not quite must be 10-7’s. The way scoring is currently used is in total disrepair.

  • matthewpolly

    frickshunite, To me having back control for 5 minutes or 15 isn’t total domination, especially if you do nothing with it but lamely attempt rear nakeds. If Maia was trying to finish, he would have switched to mount. He knew he couldn’t finish from back, but refused to do anything else or take any risks. 10-9.

    The biggest problem with adopting boxing’s judging system is boxing matches are 10-15 rounds. So losing one round 10-8 doesn’t effectively end your chances. With MMA’s 3 or 5 rounds, one 10-8 & it is pretty much all over. That’s why I think it is right for judges to be very cautious about giving out 10-8 rounds, let alone 10-7s.

  • iamphoenix

    too many words.