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Talk Radio: Why don’t we see 10-10 rounds scored by MMA judges?

By Zach Arnold | May 25, 2010

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From last night’s Observer radio show. There are some bombs in here that could get a rise or two out of readers.

“What happened was… seven/eight years ago there was a judge in New Jersey who scored a couple of rounds 10-10 and he’s never been seen again and every judge knows that story because they’ve all repeated it to me and so therefore they don’t judge 10-10 rounds very often.

“What was the fight, the fight in St. Louis with Shaolin Ribeiro and Lyle Beerbohm, Fancy Pants… that first round like absolutely nothing happened, for five minutes. They were in a fricking clinch against the cage and nothing happened and it was like, this was a 10-10 round and like every single judge gave it to Beerbohm because, you know… he was initiating the takedown that he didn’t get for five straight minutes, you know what I mean, whereas the other guy was defending the takedown that he didn’t get for five straight minutes WHILE NOTHING HAPPENED. No damage, no nothing. You know, it’s like… and that’s worth the same as like you know the next round where you know you lock a guy in a near submission after near submission, you know what I mean?

That’s part of the problems with the judging, but I mean… it’s not the judges. I mean, I’m not saying like, there are judges who probably shouldn’t be judging, I mean that is true. But the big problem with the judging in MMA is not the judges — it’s the system of judging. And people go ‘oh if you got the right judges who understood the sport,’ F***! That’s a bunch, whenever I read that I go, ‘you’re fricking retarded saying that’ because the way the system works, unless you have a thing where you give out a lot of 10-10’s and a lot of 10-8’s, OK, neither of which any judge does, if you do that the 10-point must system can work. But it doesn’t work because you’re discouraged, you know, you got to practically kill a guy to get a 10-8. I mean I’ve seen some one-sided you know beatdowns and then the judges give it 10-9 and it’s like, what the hell? And you know again, 10-10 doesn’t exist for all intents and purposes I mean every now and then a judge will kind of get gutsy and do one, but it takes, you know what I mean? The system is very flawed right now and you know, generally speaking, at least most of the judged fights are not so close to where the system screws it up but you know every couple of shows you know like Tim Hague and Chris Tuchscherer, the judges got it the way it should have been but the wrong guy won because that was the way the system works where one guy won a round big and the other two rounds were close but the other guy did win both of those rounds so he wins the fight even though they got the hell beat out of him and he lost the fight, he still gets the decisions and everyone booed but the judges were right even though they were wrong and the judges would probably tell you that themselves, that like the wrong guy won but our score said this guy won and to me whenever you have a situation, and again you know it’s probably once on every other show, where… where I’ll have, you know, I’ll judge a fight and go, ‘there’s my point, this guy won by my points,’ and that’s usually the guy who wins, but I’ll tell you right now the other guy beat the other guy up in the fight, he won the fight but the scores don’t say that.”

Topics: Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “Talk Radio: Why don’t we see 10-10 rounds scored by MMA judges?”

  1. Ugh. Why not put in that its the “boxing mentality” while we’re at it?

    Why even pretend then if we’re going to give out 10-10 rounds out if a predetermined/ascertained amount of damage is done? Let’s just demand full blown PRIDE judging again.

  2. Mr.Roadblock says:

    To me the 10 point system doesn’t work in a three round fight.

    It allows for any slight advantage, real or perceived, by one fighter in a round to negate severe damage by the other fighter in a different round. Case in point Randy vs Vera. Judging the fight as a whole how does Vera not win?

    To me I think PRIDE had it right by judging a fight as a whole. Forget the stupid PRIDE fixed fights for Japanese fighters arguments. Outside of that when did they ever blow a call in a fight? Aside from letting Barnett beat Nog so that Cro Cop would win the GP, which is pretty much the same thing.

    People will argue that each round is a separate entity and that it should be scored individually. But the rounds are just there to let fighters recover and get coached in an effort to make fights better.

    Part of the problem now is that a lot of these fights are turning into college wrestling matches. The judges have shown that taking a guy down and holding him there wins you a round. That’s the path of least resistance to winning a fight.

    The 10 point system works in boxing because you have lots of short rounds to judge. By comparison beginning boxers, the guys just out of the amateurs, fight 4 round fights. That’s already one round more than MMA fights, and a round less than championship MMA fights. By the time guys are on TV they’re in 10 round or 12 round fights.

    And both fighters are trying to do the same thing in boxing, punch the other guy and not get punched back.

    In MMA you’re trying to score 4 different sports, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and submission grappling.

    The 10 point system doesn’t fit MMA.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    1) I think having 10-10 rounds in a 3 round fight are pointless and stupid. I think they would completely kill the sport by creating way too many draws. And I think DRAWS, even if they are justified, hurt the sport way more then a close/controversial decision.

    2) I don’t feel bad for fighters who put no effort into winning a round. Too many fighters do basically nothing for an entire round, and then get mad when they don’t get the judges nod.

    3) Judging the fight in it’s entirety is also a bad idea. It actually creates many more controversial issues. And what it would end up turning into is whichever fighter lands the best strike of the fight winning most of the time.

    4) For people who say the 10-point must system doesn’t work for MMA…. Then what does? I have yet to hear a good solution to judging outside of the 10-point must system. Most of the suggestions I have heard would turn MMA into point fighting. Which would be the problem worse.

    At the end of the day, a fighter knows he has to go in there and win 2 rounds. It’s simple for the fighters. Simple for the fans. It’s simple for the judges. I like it how it is. I know people will disagree with that opinion…. And I’m willing to change it if somebody comes up with a better solution. So far I have yet to hear one.

  4. […] the reaction to Dave Meltzer’s comments on why we don’t see judges giving out 10-10 scores for rounds drew some ire from readers who left me notes saying how disappointed they were in the language that […]

  5. Fluyid says:

    When I very first started judging, I scored a round in a boxing match 10-10, and the person inputting the scores into the commission computer thought I had made a mistake.

    “Can you do that? I have never seen that score,” is what I was told.

  6. […] won the main event with two judges giving him a 30-27 score? Hey, what was that again about people who criticize MMA judges (first before criticizing the system) being ‘fricking retarded’? Just […]


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