Will There Ever Be Equality In MMA Scoring?


One topic that crosses the minds of every single MMA fan recently is scoring.  It never seems to fail, at virtually every event there is one judge that scores the fight completely different than the other two.  How is this possible?  Well, just as in any line of work there will be exceptional employees and then there will be those that simply are not up to par. 

Unfortunately, in this field all it takes is one bad score to sway the card and the fighter loses the fight.  Losing one fight can leave an imprint on your career, and with millions of kids aiming to be the next MMA star, there will always be someone else ready to take your spot. 

Imagine training for not weeks, but months physically draining yourself and pushing your body to limits you never thought were even possible. 

Then add in cutting weight and having to run around keeping up with the press circuit as all pro fighters have to maintain all just days before the big match.  You get in the octagon and deliver what you and in some cases, the vast majority of the viewing audience would favor as a winning performance and it gets taken away from you. 

In many fights recently when they have announced the judges scorecards even the fighter that is being declared the winner is in total shock as they themselves didn’t even assume they won. 

A lot has been said about the scoring and UFC president Dana White has certainly made it clear he wishes it to become more evenly scored at every event, but it has yet to change. 

To have judges that do understand all of the mechanics of MMA scoring, could actually be possible if they each had to earn a background in some form of martial arts or boxing to begin with. 

Why is a takedown given more points in some judge’s eyes over an elbow to the face?  It’s questions like this that frustrate the fighters, their families, the fans and the trainers.  To have a better grasp on scoring, you must know the basics of the rules in MMA and they are as follows:

To score a match, there are 10 points per round, it’s as simple as that.  10 points are given to the winner of each round and 9 points or less are handed to the loser.  In some cases, there can be a 10-10 round scored, but this almost never occurs.

To receive a 10-10 score, both fighters are basically considered equal in their performance with neither one of them outshining the other.  A 10-9 round is anytime when you see a round that was very close, but you know one contender had more of an advantage be that via strikes, takedowns or grappling efforts. 

A 10-8 round occurs when one fighter dominates the round more than half of the time  10-7 would be if one contender just takes over the round and easily dominates their opponent.

With that being said, it is such a challenge to comprehend why so many fights are being swayed in the wrong direction and resulting in odd winners.  Certainly, everyone knows if you are a fighter you should fight to the best of your ability and never leave it to the judges so you avoid this type of mix up.  However, perhaps you did fight your best and so did your opponent without either of you resulting in a KO, or a submission forcing the match to result in the hands of the judges.  Some have a theory of adding a half point rule to the scoring system, so that the rounds could result in 10-9.5 score and so on, adding a different point value and perhaps coming up with more solid results in the end.  Hopefully sooner rather than later some change will take effect to stop the lopsided scoring in MMA and start awarding the real winners in the end.

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