It doesn’t take much effort to find a mixed martial arts fan or analyst to criticize the current ten-point must system in the sport, but when someone like Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the UFC Marc Ratner speaks up in defense of the system, you listen.
Ratner said during a recent interview that he believes the system does work, but that it is education of the judges which is the greatest hurdle for the sport to overcome.
“I think it does work,” Ratner said during an appearance on ‘The MMA Hour’ with Ariel Helwani. “The problem with that system, whether it be boxing or MMA, is that not all 10-9 rounds are equal. Certainly in a three-round fight, that can skew who wins, but for the most part, most of the decisions are good.”
“Every once in a while, you’re going to get one that certainly goes against public opinion. But MMA is harder to judge than boxing, in my opinion, because you have to know what’s going on on the ground.”
“It’s an evolving discipline and I think we just have to keep on educating and that’s part of my goals. No, I don’t think it would be that easy to change. I’m not for the half-point system. I can understand it, but I think if the judges really concentrate and do their job, the ten-point must system can work.”
Ratner is right.
More often than not, you get decisions that everyone will agree with. The problem is those crucial moments when a bad decision could affect someone’s chances of entering the title picture or advancing in their career.
The good news is that mixed martial arts is still a young sport, so it will take time to find judges who can educate themselves as much about the ground game as the stand up work.