Should mixed martial arts employ open scoring? That’s the talk of the town right now. The idea of making judges’ round-by-round cards open to the public isn’t new and is already underway in certain places. Most notably, the Invicta FC cards in Kansas. However, for UFC President Dana White, the cons far outweigh the pros.
According to White, there are a few moments in sports where announcing the results after a close match is highly anticipated. And this is especially true during championship bouts. White believes if the fans know the score as the rounds progress, it would rob them of the drama that unfolds at the end.
“When the fight is on, I have a clear notion of who won or lost. But while standing there with the belt, I don’t know what Bruce Buffer is going to say. He doesn’t tell me anything. The judges inform him and the commission does its thing. And I’m like standing there waiting for the results just like the millions of fans. I believe revealing the scores in advance completely robs the anticipation of who won the fight” White later revealed.
What are the Chances of Influencing the Results?
There’s another major reason White believes the fighters should not know the score during a match. It’s easy for a contender who’s leading by two rounds in a three-rounder to head into cruise control. Thus, diluting the intensity of the bout and robbing the fans of pure pleasure.
“If a professional fighter knows that he’s up by two rounds he’ll stay away from the opponent in the last round, completely ruining the fight. If you’re aware that you’re leading, all you need to do is not concede points, and averting a showdown is the best way forward”, White added.Whether open scoring becomes a trend is out of White’s control as the commission’s decision is binding. Punters stand to gain the most if open scoring goes mainstream, as betting on MMA nights will become more predictable. However, the boss’s verdict stands loud and clear at the end of the day.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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