Jeff Wagenheim, at ESPN, posted a piece titled, Hey MMA, It’s Time for a Few Changes. Wagenheim goes on to list ten suggested changes and his rationale for each. I agree with every change that Wagenheim suggested and here are the top three I would push for first.
What’s the score? Let’s allow fighters to know where they stand. (I am for posting fighter’s scores after each round. In most sports, athletes know the score prior to the competition ending. I think that this would be helpful — especially in light of some of the terrible scores we seen from judges lately. – Craig)
Cut down on weight cuts. (I believe we need this for two reasons: 1) The safety of the fighters. We’ve seen too many fighters who are medically unable to make weight or make the cut and then have health issues. If fighters have to be monitored throughout fight week, I think we will see fighters making more reasonable weight cut decisions. 2) Fighters who come in overweight have an advantage over the fighters who make weight. Most of the time the overweight fighter wins. How can that even be considered a fair fight? If you don’t make the weight, you shouldn’t get paid and also have a DQ added to your record. I’ll bet we’d see more reasonable weight cuts then! – Craig)
Judges should learn numbers other than 10 and 9. (I’ll go one step further. When a judge has scores that are out of line with the other two judges a panel should meet with the judge to determine the rationale for his/her scores. These discussions could help bring some conformity to scoring. – Craig)