UFC commentator Joe Rogan explains why MMA judging needs to change

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UFC commentator Joe Rogan has explained why he believes judging in mixed martial arts needs to change.

The rise of MMA across the last few decades has been no accident with more and more fans embracing an entirely new genre of combat sports. Some fell out of love with boxing, others fell in love with the art form, and a large section of the fanbase fell somewhere in between.

It’s taken on a life of its own with highlight-reel knockouts and world class submissions regularly leaving us awestruck. However, every so often, the dreaded judges’ scorecards throw up a result that leaves us all scratching our heads.

Joe Rogan is a man who has been along for the ride with the UFC since they first broke into the mainstream and during a recent episode of his podcast, he used a controversial title bout as a way to signal the main issue with judging in MMA.

“This is my number one problem with scoring, the way we have scoring in MMA: Any one of those rounds [Esparza/Namajunas 2] could be a 10-9 round, or a round where someone beats someone pretty cleanly and lands a lot of shots could also be a 10-9 round. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s a flaw in the scoring system,” Rogan said. 

“We need a better system. We don’t need boxing’s system. It shouldn’t have anything to do with 10-9. There should be a bunch of factors like volume, the amount strikes, submissions, takedowns, all the damage, all that s***. Add it up, and it should be a totally different thing. We should have scores like 57-96 for one round, 100-20 for another round, like that kind of s***. Because that’s more indicative of what’s actually happening in a fight than 10-9.”

The boxing comparison

One of the big differences between boxing and MMA, at least when it comes to scoring, is time.

Boxing has had many years to work out the ideal system and iron out a lot of their issues, which is why when perceived ‘robberies’ take place, a lot of eyebrows begin to be raised.

On the flip side, the unified rules that were introduced a few years back in mixed martial arts aren’t actually used in a universal way.

Some states and countries use them and others don’t, with Rogan bringing up a few key points of his own as this debate rages on.

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Jens Pulver

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