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What’s wrong with the 10-point must system?

Garth from Flying Guard Pass has put up a post going into detail on the 10 point must system, which I’ve always found weird. Why is it ten points when the biggest differential between one guy and another is two points? Why the hell don’t they just make it a 2-point must system instead? Are low numbers just too lame? Is it so Mauro Renallo can make 10-inch must jokes when Gina Carano’s fights go to a decision?

Anyways, I’ve said in the past that the problems we’re having are judging problems and not scoring problems. Why in God’s name are we trying to dummy proof a system when we should just be telling dummies to fuck off? Everyone understands that a close fight can go either way … that’s just how things are. However, the controversy here is when a good 90% of the watching public completely disagrees with an obviously bad decision.

MMA isn’t rocket science. Okay, sure there’s a lot to take into account but even the average joe can get a general idea of how a fight is going and who’s winning. The current judging criteria is about as clear as it can be without going down the path to hell and counting every punch, kick, and shoot.

Honestly, why all the hate towards the 10-point must system? When you boil it down to it’s bones, it’s pretty straight forward:

  • Fighter X won this round
  • Fighter X dominated this round

Those are the only two options. And I guess that’s why people aren’t happy: There’s a lot of cases where a round is too close to call, or a tie. But seriously people, what the hell do you want? Do you enjoy ties? Was the result of Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans pleasing to you? Granted that was a tie for point deductions, but once you allow for ties strictly from the scoring criteria, you’re gonna have TONS of ties. And that would suck the world’s largest dong.

So in the end I say this: Don’t change the point system. Don’t start counting different kinds of attacks and defenses. The system is fine as it is. It’s the retard judges that are fucking things up. Set up some kind of accountability system for that, and the problem is solved.

  • garth says:

    the one thing that kept bothering me is this: why base it on rounds? i feel like the judges give too much consideration to rounds as opposed to the whole fight, especially the last part of a round. they seem to be more weighty than the first part, ie a fighter who’s thrown a few more punches at the end has a better chance of getting the round. MMA is a full-spectrum sport, it’s dynamic and covers a lot of different aspects of combat sports, so why is the scoring focused just on a round, instead of the entire 15 minutes? the problem i see is that one a guy can get pwned for 5 minutes like no one’s been pwned before, right up to almost being knocked out, then barely eke shit out for the next two rounds. i don’t think that guy won. i think he’s still behind.
    that’s just me tho, thanks for talking about it.

  • marshal says:

    I like the system, keep it simple.

  • Thomas says:

    I agree with Garth some changes need to be made but if the judges were better educated on all aspects of mma we might not be having this conversation. I also liked Garth’s idea of adding two more judges thus having five alogether. This nutrifys (lol Mike Goldberg) that one idiot bastard that scores is 30-27 for the guy that clearly loss.

  • marshal says:

    5 judges? Why such a small number?
    I say bring in more, American Idol style, let the fans dial in and decide. They are the best unbiased judges!

  • garth says:

    hahaha, that would be awesome marshal…either that or an internet poll…
    goldberg could do something like “All right america! let’s see who you think won!” all schmaltzy and seacresty

  • Lifer says:

    Well I’m with Joe Rogan on this one.

    He’s constantly pointing out Pride’s system where they score the fight as a whole and if you’re Japanese and it was close or you were losing you’re still awarded the fight anyways. I’m not sure if this system could be implemented in the U.S. due to lack of asians but from what I have seen of upcoming cards it seems the UFC has caught onto the Japanese marketing system of bringing in no-name Japanese people as cannon fodder for the people they want to market.

    It appears there is still hope!

  • marshal says:

    Yes, the lack of Japanese fighters could throw any scoring system for a loop. We will have to make very careful calculations to account for this variable. HAHA

  • Teufel says:

    They need to drop the “must” scoring system and use a scoring system that’s a mix of amateur boxing and grappling/jiu-jitsu. Points for each clean strike, points for takedowns, guard passes, sweeps, submission attempts, securing mount, etc. It still won’t be perfect, but it can’t be any worse than it is now.

  • Oh yes it would be! Start giving guys points for specific actions and you’ll end up like a number of other bullshit martial arts sport events where people are just trying to ‘score’.

  • Matt says:

    I agree, but there are situations in the system that create f ups.. Say fighter A dominates first round 10-8.. Fighter B comes back and wins rnd 2-3 w/ scores of 9-10..Hmmm This never happens but if it did I bet fighter B would get the nod..I almost seems like the later rounds are what the judges base their decision on..

  • garth says:

    matt: and that leads directly into the one judge effing up the whole thing with some bonzo 30-27 card coughcecilfuckingpeoplescough. the five-judge (only five, not a hundred) panel ameliorates that to some extent (spreading the shittiness around more, i guess)

  • garth says:

    also: does anyone object to putting a running score up? i haven’t heard a good reason yet why they keep the scores secret. if the judges are scared, put a plex box around them like hockey goal judges (used to?) have.

  • Yeah, I agree with a running score. It’d be helpful to avoid third rounds where both fighters ‘cradle a lead’

  • marshal says:

    The scores are kept secret in anticipation to whose hand will be raised, duh!

  • garth says:

    Fan: Hey judge, who’s winning?
    Judge: Can’t say.
    Fan: Why not?
    Judge: It’s a secret.
    Fan: {Watches baseball instead}

    This of course wouldn’t happen unless people actually thought about it. We’ve been trained to not care that we don’t know the effing score. Argh

    what part of cananananadia are you in flinker?

  • quebexico … montreal, specifically

  • Jordan Breen says:

    Running scores are idiotic. Watch boxing matches where they use open scoring. After the ninth round if a guy is ahead, he invariables runs away. Peep Mormeck-Bell II for reference.

  • The difference between MMA and boxing is in MMA THERE IS NO ESCAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jordan Breen says:

    MMA is not the Thunderdome, sadly. There’s always an escape.


  • garth says:

    THIS IS NOT BOXING. In a three round fight, in a cage, the options for running away are fewer and farther between, and the clinch won’t save you. Running scores are fucking sensible. A little ref discretion in taking a point away for passivity and we have an even better idea.
    And you said “running scores” would lead to guys “running away”. Tee hee!