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Almeida: MMA judges should be former fighters -- or at least practitioners

Ultimate Fighting Championship 110 Photo by Mark Nolan/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images

"If there were more former fighters giving educational classes that showed how we need to judge this and how we need to judge that, it’ll be better. If it was a clean combination or a clean takedown, it scores higher, whereas now when the crowd screams it influences the judges. I think refs and judges need specific things they need to look at and the more they understand it. Everyone understands what is happening, but I think for someone who has actually been in there and understands the technical aspect is going to do a better job. I’m not saying everyone who judges or refs has to be a fighter, but they should have to at least be practitioners. I think everyone should look at contributing to the future of the sport. The sport only grows when people with passion take the leadership positions and prove it. If people would treat MMA like their house and cleaned up, then there wouldn’t be as much trash in the house. My goal is to always be the change, in anything I want to see changed."

Former UFC middleweight Ricardo Almeida is taking out the trash, starting with mixed martial arts judges and referees who don’t know the intricacies of cage fighting. “Big Dog” tells MMA Die Hards that he was recruited by Nick Lembo, Counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB), to help give back to the sport as an MMA judge, a role he expects to fulfill competently based on his background as a fighter. Do you agree that MMA officiating should be done by former players of the game? Or do conflicts of interest begin to surface as ex-fighters find themselves judging a former training partner or teammate? Where do you stand on this one Maniacs?

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