UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, like most fans and fighters these days, is sick and tired of the judging controversies that seem to pop up more often than not, like the embarrassing scorecard that marred the Cory McKenna vs. Elise Reed fight at UFC London back in March.
So how do we fix this ongoing problem?
“Maybe there’s a way to score it like you would give points for moments in fights where someone either did damage or someone had control, but control was not worth as much as damage,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “Because you can survive control unscathed. Just because someone has you down maybe in half-guard, and you’re just clinching and controlling, you can survive that for a couple minutes sometimes, and nothing happens. Even though the person’s in control of you, it’s not that big of a deal. But then damage: How much more is damage worth? Like if you see the person gets wobbled or you see like a big, impactful kick, you’re like, ‘Wow, that was a significant moment in the fight. So that would be worth more.’ Instead of being attached to this system. It’s just not comprehensive enough, I don’t think.”
Sounds like a great idea, which is probably why the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) added the exact same criteria when it revised the unified rules of mixed martial arts (MMA) back in 2016. Maybe Rogan was so busy crafting a new recipe for muskrat stew he somehow missed the update.
Which was also added to the UFC website.
“Effective Striking/Grappling shall be considered the first priority of round assessments,” the rules state. “Effective Aggressiveness is a ‘Plan B’ and should not be considered unless the judge does not see ANY advantage in the Effective Striking/Grappling realm. Cage/Ring Control (‘Plan C’) should only be needed when ALL other criteria are 100% even for both competitors. This will be an extremely rare occurrence.”
A more comprehensive rules breakdown can be watched here.
Rogan, like play-by-play man Jon Anik and frequent commentary collaborator Daniel Cormier, is held to a different standard because he’s charged with translating the action inside the cage for the viewers at home. That job — which carries a tremendous amount of influence in how fans interpret fights — requires more than just screaming “OHHHHHH!” every time a fighter gets rocked.
The outspoken Rogan wants judges to have martial arts experience. Perhaps it’s time for UFC commentators to have some judging experience, as well.