The Jackson Griffin judging controversy is discussed really nicely on this Five Oz of Pain article. There are a lot of ideas about how to improve the points system, including shorter rounds, the Pride yellow card (docks one’s pay), subjective emphasis on best effort to KO or sub rather than stupid shit like Octagon control (rewards just playing defense to a certain extent if you’ve won rd 1). Some people say, well that’s life in the fight game, get used to it and stop whining, but that’s just stupidly defeatist. Other sports get rule changes that make the sport better. Wilt Chamberlain and goal tending comes to mind. Why shouldn’t mma be any different?

I’d like to see a combination of IKF San Shou rules and Abu Dhabi rules, minus the need for the standing 8 count. Basically combine the most exciting stand-up format and the best ground grappling format. Screw the 10 point must system from boxing. That is confusing and is designed for more rounds and a different ruleset. Because of the different scale, I think the San Shou takedown / knockdown points could be doubled while keeping the striking point scale. Reward more stand-up for more excitement and reward throws. Only if there is a need for judging due to no KO/TKO/sub. So basically:

    1 – clean strikes landed with power
    2 -Mount position
    2 -Knee on stomach
    2 -Sweeps (ends Guard or Half Guard)
    2 -Takedown (ends Guard or Half Guard)
    3 -Back mount with hooks
    3 -Passing the guard
    4 -Clean Sweep (ends passed the guard)
    4 -Clean Takedown (ends passed the guard)
    4 – Clean Knockdown from strike regardless of guard
    6 – high altitude, explosive or devastating throw.

I like the 5 second clinch break up rule and the high altitude rule. Keep the action moving. Also, in mma, via its bjj roots, good throws are de-emphasized. ADCC rules at least remedy that with the 4 point clean takedown rule. However, pick-ups and slams like Rampage did to Griffin should also count for A LOT more than some stupid leg kicks, even a good one. Ok, yeah, it’s a little pro-wrestling-ish but should be more entertaining and possibly fairer and easier for everyone to understand. Less criticism for judges. Better for the fighters and the fans. I like the IKF San Shou round rules better as well:

  • At the end of each round, each judge will write the TOTAL amount of points for each fighter on their score card. Although the WINNER will only receive “1” point on the MASTER SCORE SHEET kept by the Chief Ringside Scorekeepers, it is good for review purposes to know the total points each judge scored the bout as.
  • At the end of each round, the Chief Ringside Scorekeepers will only give “1” point to the WINNING fighter who is the fighter with the most points in the round. The losing fighter will receive “0” points.
  • At the end of the bout, unless the bout was stopped prior to the end of the scheduled rounds (KO, TKO DQ etc.) the fighter with the most rounds WON will win the bout.

Even if the math scale is slightly off or tallies are slightly off, the winner gets 1 point for the round and whoever gets the highest number of rounds won wins the whole bout, so even if striking points are a kajillion to a kajillion to one and everything else counted for naught, there is still a good way to determine a winner (and that would be a darn exciting fight so who cares).