Must we make changes to the way judges score mixed martial arts (MMA) fights?
Ratner recently defended the controversial "10-point must system" used to score MMA fights. For those new to the sport -- or who for some reason zone out during the explanation of scoring that begins every UFC broadcast -- the 10-point must system requires judges to award the winner of each round 10 points and the loser nine points or less.
Critics have pointed out that, while the 10-point must system may be the best way to reliably tell us who the better fighter is over a 12-round boxing match, it leaves room for a paucity of evidence in three-round and five-round MMA contests.
Ratner doesn't see this as a major problem, as he revealed on this past Monday's MMA Hour:
"I think it does work. The problem with that system, whether it be boxing or MMA, is that not all 10-9 rounds are equal. Certainly in a three-round fight, that can skew who wins, but for the most part, most of the decisions are good. Every once in a while, you're going to get one that certainly goes against public opinion. But MMA is harder to judge than boxing, in my opinion, because you have to know what's going on on the ground."
As Ratner so astutely pointed out, not all rounds are created equal in an MMA fight.
For instance, what happens if Fighter A wins the first two rounds after little action, only for Fighter B to come within a hairsbreadth of finishing the fight in the third round? Under the 10-point must system, Fighter A would be declared the winner, although all he did was clinch against the cage for 10 minutes before almost getting KTFO in the bout's final frame.
One suggestion which has been given to improve the 10-point must system and encourage judges -- who are notoriously stingy with giving out 10-8 rounds -- to produce more nuanced scores that accurately reflect potential variation between rounds, is to allow for half-point scoring. This would (in theory) help prevent circumstances like the scenario mentioned in the above paragraph, which could potentially be ruled a 29-28.5 bout in favor of Fighter B under half-point scoring.
Ratner isn't buying it.
"No, I don't think [the 10-point must system] would be that easy to change. I'm not for the half-point system. I can understand it, but I think if the judges really concentrate and do their job, the 10-point must system can work.
With some judges evidently unable to handle the simple addition of whole numbers, introducing decimals into the equation may just be confusing matters too much for officials who have yet to master first-grade mathematics.
What do you think Maniacs? What scoring system do you think is best for MMA? Vote in the poll bellow and sound off in the comments section!