There’s a few reasons why jiu jitsu is slowly being left in the dust while shitty kickboxing continues to thrive. One is that guys are too tentative with their submission attempts … the old ‘position over submission’ mantra means you’ll rarely see a guy on top chase a sub, because being on top means you’re winning in the eyes of the idiot judges.
Conversely, if you follow this flawed line of reasoning it means that being on the bottom = losing. There’s the rare situation where a Diego Sanchez can elbow his way to a ‘controversial’ round win from the bottom, but if you’re just using that old fashioned Brazilian goo gitsu under there, you’re pretty much fucked.
There’s no better example of this than what happened to Jeff Curran on Sunday night at WEC 42. Just to be clear, I’m not the biggest Jeff Curran fan in the world so this post isn’t any kind of fanboy outrage. If he ends up working at McDonald’s now that he’s lost four WEC fights in a row, I’d just see it as a chance for some good ‘super size’ zingers. But on Sunday night he most certainly won the last two rounds of his fight against Takeya Mizugaki, but still lost the fight on the judge’s scorecards because he did it off his back. Here’s his thoughts and MMA Weekly’s perspective on the fight:
“I love fighting at this level and want nothing more. My entire UFC, Pride and WEC career has been against guys who are the best in the business and I am honored to be a part of these battles we have had,” he stated.
“I am, however, disgusted with the lack of knowledge that the judges in the sport of MMA have for the martial art (Jiu-Jitsu) that paved the way and dominated the first half of the sport’s existence.”
Curran was taken down several times in the fight by Mizugaki, but fought a very active game from his back, launching strikes in combination with constantly searching for submissions.
“The object of this sport is to do damage and try to finish your opponent. Mizugaki was saved by the bell at the end of the second round and the third. The entire fight was me out-striking him from my back after he scored one takedown early in each round,” he recounted.
He had a guillotine choke wrapped around Mizugaki’s neck for about 45 seconds as the second round ended, and had a triangle choke locked on from top mount, raining down blows as round three closed.
“That’s why you don’t leave the fight in the hands of the judges” is what UFC president Dana White is always saying. “Because they’re morons” is the obvious implication. Personally, I’ve never given a shit what the judges decide … I make my mind up as to who won a fight and it’s no skin off my ass what three boxing judges thought of an MMA fight. But at this point, the deck has become insultingly stacked against jiu jitsu fighters and that’s bad because the more this kinda shit happens, the more we’ll end up seeing grapplers attempting to kickbox, which makes me want to stab myself in the genitals to save future generations of lil’ Fightlinkers from how bad mixed martial arts will become.
There’s nothing much to do in this situation. Fixing the judging disparity between grappling and striking is a fine detail; it’s crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. At this point the government run athletic commissions can’t even keep people with horrific blood-borne diseases from getting into the cage. So for now all we can is bitch about the situation and hope one day we’ll start getting some knowledgeable people to judge fights.