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Why won’t anyone hold judges accountable?

Well, it’s officially “Michael Bipsing / Matt Hamill” day, where all we’re gonna talk about is Michael Bisping, Matt Hamill, bad judging, and other related chicanery. Okay not really, but it certainly feels like it lately. Up first is Dana White’s reaction to the whole situation:

“These controversies that come up don’t mean a thing to me and they roll off my back with no problem because I know it’s all (expletive),” he said. “We’re the top dogs and every little thing we do is news and people create these wacky (expletive) conspiracies. The bottom line is, we’ve embraced regulation, we want the sport to be regulated everywhere, but I’m not going to stop putting fights in the U.K. just because they don’t have a commission.”

Dana White is so preoccupied with the criticism of his company that he’s failing to acknowledge the root of this particular situation: that the judging for MMA is quickly proving itself to be broken.

Let’s put it this way: if you build a robot to wash dishes, and it washes dishes 99 times out of 100 but kills a baby 1 time out of 100, that’s still not the kind of robot you want to keep. At the very least you would consider opening that robot up and seeing what the fuck makes it slice kids up. This kind of shit happens all around the world with all sorts of products … Dell laptops catch fire, Chinese toys have lead in them. But the difference between them and the UFC is that Hasbro isn’t saying “Fuck all you fuckers, we’re all about safety and regulation so it’s not our fault when shit goes bad.”

Hey, unlike all those people out there busting balls about ‘the Zuffa Myth’, I’ll simply say thank you to Zuffa for pushing for regulation across America. It’s great that they stepped up and took the lead on that. But now they need to step up and do something about judging. Because even if incompetent judges aren’t the UFC’s ‘fault’, it’s still their problem.

Dana White always said that boxing got the heart ripped out of it by promoters who cared more about their bank account than the condition of the sport. Well, one of the biggest things that killed boxing was controversial decisions and bad judging. So I’d say this is a pretty high priority issue if the UFC wants to continue to grow.

How many more high profile screwjobs on free TV is it going to take before the casual fan dismisses the sport as bullshit? Why is everyone concentrating on the ten point must system as the problem when it’s obviously gutless and incompetent judging? How in God’s name did we end up with a system that allows bad judges to stay and bad calls to stand?

How hard is it to make people accountable for their actions? Accountability is kinda a fundamental aspect of society … we hold people accountable for doing bad things. If they fuck up at their job, we fire them. If they fuck up in life, we put them in jail. When they do really bad things, we kill them. Since killing isn’t enough sometimes, we invented a God to add the prospect of an everlasting bitchslap. So why is it so hard to implement the same kind of system for MMA judges?

  • chris shultz

    love the robot analogy!

  • garth

    i want a baby-killing robot. then i’d never be the one stuck for conversation topics at awkward parties.
    “Hey, got a baby?”

    ha ha!

  • Trol

    Something definitely needs to be done. MMA is not boxing so why use a Boxing Point System? Even Joe Rogan has said time and again (even during live events) that the scoring system needs to be changed.

  • Tommy

    One of the biggest things to kill boxing was too many bad decisions, or was it crooked ones? One’s bought and paid for by someones cash instead of blood and efforts. I’m just not 100% that’s what happened here. Hamill did start to gas after the 1st to allow Bisping slowly back in the fight. I personally blame the scoring system. I also think the biggest outrage here wasn’t the questionable decision but Bisping’s dumbass comments after the fight. If he would have said, “Wow that was a tough fight and much closer then I thought it would be,” Would we still be crying over it three days later?

  • John

    Fedor vs Bisping

  • kentyman

    Well said, Tommy.

  • Jemaleddin

    Boxing only has crappy judging when a fight isn’t fixed – and who can blame the judges for not knowing what they’re doing when they so rarely have any say in who wins? :-)

  • fightlinker

    Very good points tommy. In my opinion thought, you’re saying the screwjob is only bad in context … the same argument was made re: babalu … it was because he was covered in blood and showed no remorse. And in this case, the situation only blew up because Bisping made such a show of having won clearly. But my feeling is the acts these incidents are based around are the root of the cause. If the call wasn’t controversial, we wouldn’t even be talking about what happened afterwards.

    I made a post about Ivan Trembow’s opinion on the subject – that the judges gave bisping round 2 to avoid going into round three already locked at a decision. While on the surface that may seem like an issue with the 10 point must system, it’s really an issue with judges improperly using the 10 point must system.

    Anyways, love the comments … I’m very lucky to have commenters on the site who are actually smarter than I am.

  • garth

    So what is the alternative to the ten-point must? I’ve been a proponent of a new system for a while, but haven’t heard any viable alternatives. Anyone got a thought?

  • Mr. Theplague

    Schoolyard style: Whoever cries loses.

  • fightlinker

    The ten point system is ‘fine’ … it’s the judges that are fucking it up. If judges were scoring properly then we wouldn’t be in this pickle.

  • defranger

    Man i’ve been visiting this blog for a couple of months now and love the awesome cartoons. I’ve never posted a comment before but the cartoon for this topic is fucking hilarious. The part about anybody but Clay Guida. Classic. Thanks for putting a funny spin on all the MMA stories.

  • Tommy

    The 10 point system is hard for three rounders is all I mean. There are so many more dynamics in mma to score and so much less time to allow the fight to play out on its own without going to the scorecard. The arguement can be made that if Hamill was conditioned better he wouldn’t have had to leave it up to the judges. The case can be made Hamill won the first two so how can Bisping possibly win? Another arguement could be that by the time the fight was over Hamill was completely gassed while Bisping was still fighting, which leaves who the winner. I don’t know and don’t care. I just couldn’t stand Bisping’s mouth more then anything else personally. I do believe the scoring system needs tweaking But would that matter when the UFC is using the same dumb judges that been making bad calls in boxing for years?

  • Tommy

    Oh yeah. No way fightlinker. I don’t see the judges as ‘guilty of sin’ Here as you believe. Let’s see if you were like me. Did you go into the fight thinking Bisping was gonna smash Hamill’s face? Cuz I did. Then to be shocked and see Hamill punish Bisping the first round I was in awe, and stuck for the night I believe. I rewatched it and can see how rounds two and three were giving to Micheal. In fact after 3-4 minutes of the first, Hamill starts stalking like Frankenstein. In the second his takedowns were, I’m tired let me get it on the ground, and with all his ‘skill’ he couldn’t hold Bisping there. OK Matt let him up the first time in the first but never again was Bisping ‘let up’. He got up. In fact pretty skillfully if you ask me. The roll out of the wrist lock to give up his back then onto his feet against Hamill? That took skill and thought. Bisping also slipped alot, I don’t think Hamill looked that great, I think Bisping looked that bad. Also Hamill had his blank look he always has while Bisping did look a little rattled, as if he suddenly realized that he did indeed have to fight and it wasn’t going to be so easy. Giving Hamill that confident ‘look’ but in fact is his same blank expression. If you watch it again see what you think and if it was a big a BS call as you did.

  • Tommy

    Not to overpost but how could a judge give Hamill round three? I can see giving Bisping round 2 before giving Hamill the 3rd.

  • fightlinker

    I’ve watched the fight 3 times … once with the japanese feed, and then twice watching the SpikeTV one. All three times it came out the same … Hamill won round 1 and 2, I’d give Bisping round three just barely.

  • Tommy

    Really? OK cool. I don’t see that.

  • Meeaaat

    Fightlinker, sounds like you’re pretty open to taking an objective view at the fight. Here’s a suggestion. Read this Mullen interview here for a view of how this most senior of MMA judges, scores UFC fights:

    Then acquaint yourself with a summary of out fighting, here: – if you were watching the Japanese video, you’ll have heard the term already, by both the announcers and Bisping’s corner.

    When you rewatch round 2, take note of shots thrown and landed. You’ll count a clear advantage for Bisping, I counted over 2 to 1, and if you watch his footwork, you’ll see he’s controlling the confrontations, not just running away. If you watch the clock, the total time spent on the ground is 1 minute. During that time, Hamill lands 1 effective shot on Bisping. While Bisping was standing up, Hamill was able to land 5 shots – that was the best of it he managed that round. 80% of the round was spent on the feet, where Bisping was clearly doing better than Hamill. 20% was spent on the ground, and Hamill was for the most part ineffective. 10-9 Bisping.

    I’d be interested in hearing your take using the judging criteria from the interview, as opposed to the Rogan or Eddie Bravo scoring system.

  • Hywel Teague

    I love the cartoon :-)

    ‘not clay guida’… hahaha

  • Zack

    “if you build a robot to wash dishes, and it washes dishes 99 times out of 100 but kills a baby 1 time out of 100, that’s still not the kind of robot you want to keep.”


  • cody

    Hamil kicked bispings ass, plain and simple, even though i give round three to bisping, hamill already had whooped him the 2 prior rounds and put up a really good fight in the third.
    I see what people are saying when they say the scoring system is screwed up, espceailly for a 3 round match, but what r they goin to do, make a new scoring system?……not a bad idea if u think about it

  • shed

    i watched the fight live on tv and i initially thought bisping had gotten lucky, i recorded the show on dvd and have watched that fight many times since and in my eyes it is plain to see bisping wins the fight in rounds 2 and 3.

    tait fletcher said after he lost to josh haynes by split decision on tuf3 its all about opinions and decisions, each person sees things in there own perspective, i thought that fight was a draw that should have gone the extra round but it didn’t and life goes on where was the uproar and sense of injustice when that happened? what is even more annoying is people are advocating a utopian ufc which is naive, it wont happen as long as people are in control mistakes will happen especially when operating in realtime events.

    lastly Bisping didn’t do anything wrong apart from mouth off after the fight but most fighters trash talk, if Hamill had won the fight would he rub Bispings nose in the dirt by saying i am the real tuf 3 winner, of course he would. just deal with the bad calls and enjoy the good ones and hope for a possible rematch between Bisping and Hamill