It may be a small concession, but requiring training would be a nice step for athletic commissions to implement. Though there are certainly some judges who have a firm understanding of MMA, others are relatively clueless about the intricacies involved. They see a takedowns and top control as the most important aspect of a fight, often ignoring submissions/attacks from the bottom or escapes. Annual training hours are required for countless jobs out there. Why shouldn’t the same be required for paid officials on the MMA front?
The outrage over the scoring in Saturday night’s showdown between UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and top contender Johny Hendricks was widespread with everyone from fans to former fighters to UFC President Dana White labeling it as an embarrassing example of officiating. Of course, strange scorecards are nothing new, and fighters have been told to avoid going the distance for years based on the risk involved by leaving the result in judges’ hands. Hopefully, the blunder occurring on a stage as large as UFC 167 will create the motivation necessary to finally address the problem in 2014. While human error will always factor into fights on some level, judging can be dramatically improved by implementing a few simple fixes. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)
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