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Rogerio Nogueira: “When it comes to scoring who did more damage on the opponent I think it was me.”

The handful of questionable decisions handed out by judges in Indianapolis at UFC 119 has been a popular point of discussion from media, fans, and even one of the involved fighters (Jeremy Stephens) since the show took place a week ago. One of Stephens’ PPV-peers is now joining him in stepping forward to voice concerns over the way his respective bout was scored – Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

The Brazilian light heavyweight recently spoke to Tatame about his hard-fought decision loss to still-undefeated Ultimate Fighter Season 8 champ Ryan Bader at the event, and during the conversation he made it clear he felt takedowns and passive top control are weighed far too heavily in the UFC when compared to fight-finishing techniques.

“(Bader) was good, has excellent coaches, (and) is tough, but I think I had more initiative (during) the fight – but he got two or three takedowns,” Nogueira explained. “When I went forward he took me down, but he didn’t do a thing on the floor. He was good at the beginning…tried to be objective…punched me like four times, hit some elbows…but then he just tried to hold me all fight long.”

“The way I see, I won the second and third rounds, and he won the first. When it comes to scoring who did more damage on the opponent, I think it was me,” he said of the result.

When it came to why he felt the judges had ultimately rendered their scorecards in favor of the two-time All-American wrestler, Nogueira responded, “UFC is different than PRIDE. They worship takedowns, but the guys don’t do much on the floor and don’t even try to submit or knock us out. What happened was that (Bader) kept trying to take me down and I wanted to keep the fight standing up to get the knockout.”

“The judges don’t get much about the ground game,” he continued. “If it’s not (very) strong Jiu-Jitsu they give it for who has more takedowns. I think they should give point for takedown defenses too. Once the guy defended a takedown he should get a point too; not only the takedown but its defense as well.”

However, in conclusion, Nogueira also made sure not to take too much away from Bader’s overall performance. “The fight was tied and it could have gone both ways,” he began. “(But) the guy is to be congratulated. He’s a young guy, proved himself to be good, (and) showed he can take people down…but I want to come back as soon as possible, try to win, and fight again to be among the ‘Top 5’.”

  • Con says:

    I am pretty sure the fight was this past Saturday. From what I saw the Stephens fight could have gone either way. As far as the Bader fight, his takedowns always seem to come at the perfect time to steal rounds.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I thought it was a pretty close fight to call. Round 1 for Bader for sure, but after that he was having trouble taking Nog down, and once there he was not able to hold him there. And striking was all Nog after the 2nd round. It was a real tough fight to call, although I think Bader won Nog didnt look bad at all.

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  • qat says:

    there should be more draws in rounds and fights as a whole.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  • bigbadjohn says:

    agreed qat. Draws should defintely be more common. And Lil Nog shouldnt be 1 and 1 in his last two fights., he should be 0, 0 and 2

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  • Rece Rock says:

    “When it came to why he felt the judges had ultimately rendered their scorecards in favor of the two-time All-American wrestler, Nogueira responded, “UFC is different than PRIDE. They worship takedowns…”

    Well Nog that is the first problem… The UFC doesn’t employ the judges the state they are fighting in does, so it doesn’t really matter what the execs or the company likes or dislikes it’s in some one elses hands.

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    i had Nog winning the fight but i can see why Bader won

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  • Spoken says:

    i think he just was speaking in general terms about the differences in judging between pride and ufc, and not plcing blame. he could have said usa and japan in place of ufc and pride and it wouldnt have been blaming the country, but still making the same point.

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  • Dufresne says:

    I think the main difference in judges from the USA and from Japan has to do with the culture that they were raised in.

    Jiu Jitsu and Judo are still relatively new to the western world so US judges tend to not give it as much credit unless it’s actively causing a threat to the opponent. On the other hand US judges are very familiar with wrestling where the biggest factors are takedowns and control. If a fighter gets taken down and locks in a rubber guard or otherwise completely negates the top fighter’s attack, it can still look like the top fighter is in control to a judge who doesn’t have a solid appreciation of the differences between the two arts.

    As far as the Bader/Nog fight goes, I thought it was the closest of the questionable decisions that night and I can see how it went Bader’s way. I honestly didn’t know who to give the fight to as Bader dominated round one, but after that it was 50:50 round 2 and 40:60 round 3 Bader:Nog in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a draw in that fight, but with the ridiculous “10 Point Must” scoring system we have to deal with and no penalties in the fight, draws are almost unheard of.

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  • Swing Em says:

    I agree with Qat. Draws should be more common in MMA. I know everyone hates ties, but unlike other sports where it truly is a “points game” MMA is sort of an intangiable sport. What I mean by that is sometimes it’s hard to determine whose winning clearly. I think one of the major problems is the “Ten Point Must System” which forces the judges to pick a winner for the round & award him 10 points, “his opponet 9 or less” as Goldie like to remind us before every PPV. Sometimes neither man has a 10 point round & in other cases both men deserve 10 points. Until MMA gets rid of the “10 PMS” we’re going to continue to have decisions that don’t make sense.

    IMO this is how MMA should be scored.

    Each fighter should start with 10 points at the beginning of each round

    These points would represent the following

    Striking – 2
    Grappling – 2
    Agression – 2
    Cage Control – 2
    Takedowns – 1
    Heart – 1

    and for each one of those categories that the fighter is winning he keeps his points

    for everyone one he’s losing he’ll be deducted a point, maybe 2 if he’s getting blown out in that particular facet of the fight.

    However if neither man is really doing too much throughout the fight, then they could still have points deducted for lack of agression & heart.

    So you could have a Draw that read 21 – 21 bcuz both fighters lost their agression & heart points but none of the others.

    Does this make sense or am I completely mad?

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  • boomnutz says:

    lol, how are you going to allow judges to judge on “heart”, that’s the most subjective criteria i’ve ever heard, it’s just asking judges to be more bias. and aggression, you can’t realy judge aggression either, I mean if some walks the other person down all fight they’re being more aggressive, but what if they’re eating counters the whole time too, he gets points for being stupid??

    sorry to bash your criteria, i like the outside-the-box thinking though, keep up the good work

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  • Swing Em says:

    What I mean by “Heart” is did he get caught in a submission but fight through it? Did he get dropped & get back up. Did he show he wants to be there. A good example of heart is how Big Nog got smashed by Herring in the 1st round of their UFC fight only to come back & win. He was showing heart, guts, balls, whatever you wanna call it and i think that should count for something. A good example of a lack of heart was Jamie Varner vs Donald Cerrone. Varner quit when he didn’t have to bcuz he didn’t wanna be in there anymore. After they reviewed the footage of the knee not landing Cerrone should’ve been awarded the win & the championship.

    And in regards to Agression, thats already a way they score the fight. “Based on effective Striking, Grappling, Agression & Cage Control” to quote 99% of all MMA judging criteria.

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  • danw84 says:

    If heart was part of judging criteria, Forrest Griffin would be undefeated in every decision he’s ever gone to.

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  • Guthookd says:

    “Once the guy defended a takedown he should get a point too; not only the takedown but its defense as well.”
    -Little Nog

    I dont’ know if that’s a good call or not. On one hand it makes sense that a good TD stuff should be awarded, but on the other hand, how far can you take it. Does a guy get a point for blocking a head kick? What if he completely dodges a whole flurry of punches? Slippery slop smaller-nog (really not that lil at all).

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  • danw84 says:

    UFC Undisputed 2010 values blocking as much as stiking in career mode training.

    I’m pretty sure you have your answer Guthookd.

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  • qat says:

    are you being serious danw84?
    so could i win a fight by just blocking and evading without ever attacking myself? great idea.
    defending should not be awarded period.

    the current judging is not all that bad, just awarding takedowns and ground control have to be adjusted a bit. and as i mentioned earlier: judges shouldn’t be afraid to call rounds a draw.

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  • Creature says:

    “If heart was part of judging criteria, Forrest Griffin would be undefeated in every decision he’s ever gone to” agreed :) forrest has an unbreakable heart and will, same goes 4 jon fitch

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  • atreezy says:

    This is my fantasy.

    One day all MMA judges will be instructed, tested, and appointed by a NATIONAL committee which oversees training effectiveness of judges in MMA. The committee will instruct judges that upon any position, top or bottom, the fight can be controlled and finished.

    MMA is as close as it comes to authentic freestyle combat, and it should be recognized that points can be earned no matter what position the fighters are in. To have judges in each individual state appointed with little or possibly NO knowledge of MMA, means fights could be won or lost depending on which state the event is held.

    A perfect example was tonight’s fight of Hominick vs. Garcia. Hominick CLEARLY won all round, yet was awarded the split decision. These bizarre scores I feel can be corrected with a national judging system that could be put in use for all judges to have the exact same scoring criteria. I know the criteria itself is very vague, but I feel this could really help, if it could ever be implemented.

    Ok I’ll admit it, I’ve been drinking and I may be full of BS.

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  • atreezy says:

    Also I meant to add : in some states MMA has only had legal regulation for a year or so….are the judges appointed really expected to have any real experience? It would be easier to pull judges from a national pool who are able to perform their job with complete confidence.

    I know this is probably impossible because each state will always have it’s own regulation and policies, but like I said…its my fantasy.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    There were some strange results, but Nog/Bader wasn’t surprising to me. Bader may not have done much damage on the ground, but his takedowns disrupted Nog’s striking, and the threat of the takedowns made Nog more cautious. As a strategy it was successful regardless of whether it scored. And Bader did wobble Nog a few times, so his win wasn’t scandalous.

    Dunham’s loss was, however. He should’ve won the decision on the strength of the third round.

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  • TerribleT says:

    I think the 2nd round should be worth more than the 1st and the 3rd round more than the 2nd bcuz the fighter that’s winning the later rounds is wearing the other fighter down and turning the fight in his favor. Just like in a real fight. If I get into a street fight and I’m winning for the first 5 minutes then my opponent all of a sudden gets me down and pummels my face with haymakers for 2 minutes he’s winning and going to win even though I won more minutes of the fight.That’s how I see it but that’s just me.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0


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