Certified judge Paul Gift scores UFC 212’s rounds in real time with explanations
UFC 212 goes down in Rio tonight and the odds of the main event of Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway going to a decision currently sit around 60%. It’s the perfect time to test a new idea here at Bloody Elbow, having a certified and licensed judge talk through his scoring of each round in real time.
I got certified in August of last year and have since worked local shows in Los Angeles for the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO). I’m still learning and growing from every event and will surely make mistakes here, but I understand how MMA rounds are supposed to be scored and will try to share my thoughts on those elements during the breaks between each round.
I’ll be watching UFC 212 with the volume on mute so, with apologies to Jon Anik, Brian Stann, and Dominick Cruz, I won’t hear when “that hurt him,” there’s a “nice knee,” or when someone is “off to a good start here.” The “oooohs” and “aaaahs” from the crowd will be total silence. I’ll have to make all determinations myself like a regular judge.
Rounds are scored in MMA based on damage. If control enters your mind, get it out immediately. And a takedown just changes the position of the fight unless it causes or leads to damage.
Readers should consider a single criteria for scoring: Effective Striking/Grappling. While effective aggressiveness and fighting area control can possibly be scoring criteria as well, their use is so rare that forgetting about them will instantaneously improve readers’ judging games by leaps and bounds.
Legal blows that have immediate or cumulative damage with the potential to contribute towards the end of the match with the IMMEDIATE weighing more heavily than the cumulative damage.
Successful execution of takedowns, submission attempts, reversals and the achievement of advantageous positions that produce immediate or cumulative damage with the potential to contribute to the end of the match, with the IMMEDIATE weighing more heavily than the cumulative damage.
It shall be noted that a successful takedown is not merely a changing of position, but the establishment of an attack from the use of the takedown.
Top and bottom position fighters are assessed more on the impactful/damaging result of their actions, more so than their position.
Since I’m not a regulator worried about getting sued in the future, the politically correct word “impact” in the definition above has been replaced with “damage” – the word originally intended by the authors of the new scoring criteria.
The 2017 judging criteria will be used for 10-8 scores. The 3 D’s of Dominance, Damage, and Duration only apply to 10-8 considerations and the scoring of 10-9s, 10-10s, and 10-7s didn’t change. For all scores that aren’t 10-8, the new judging criteria clarified the language of what was already being taught in training.
With that, let’s press mute and get down to business…in silence…complete and total silence. Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Please forgive any typos in real time.
PPV MAIN CARD
Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway
Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Vitor Belfort vs. Nate Marquardt
Paulo Borrachinha vs. Oluwale Bamgbose
Yancy Medeiros vs. Erick Silva
Marlon Moraes vs. Raphael Assuncao
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Eric Spicely
Johnny Eduardo vs. Matthew Lopez
Iuri Alcantara vs. Brian Kelleher
FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Viviane Pereira vs. Jamie Moyle
Luan Chagas vs.Jim Wallhead
Marco Beltran vs. Deiveson Alcantara
Paul is Bloody Elbow’s analytics and business writer and is a licensed MMA judge for the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization (CAMO). Follow him @MMAanalytics.