Sunday, November 27, 2022

UFC Veteran Invites “Dorks” Who Dismiss Control Time To Gym

Veteran UFC featherweight Lando Vannata has issued an open invite to those who disagree with him about the scoring criteria.

This year, the debate surrounding how fights inside the cage are judged has raged to an all-time peak. From Ketlen Vieira’s headline victory over Holly Holm at UFC Vegas 55 in May to Valentina Shevchenko’s narrow title defense against Taila Santos at June’s Singapore-held pay-per-view, it’s safe to say that a number of high-profile matchups have split opinion.

And the one constant in discussions is seemingly misconceptions and disagreements surrounding the impact of control time. That was on display once again this past weekend at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi.

On the main card, rising bantamweight Sean O’Malley recorded a tight split decision win over former champion Petr Yan. The result drew immediate uproar on social media, with a number of fighters and pundits criticizing judges Ben Cartlidge and David Lethaby for scoring the bout in favor of “Sugar.”

While many have acknowledged the close nature of the contest, it’s clear that the majority expected the Russian to have his hand raised. Per MMA Decisions, zero of 25 submitted media scores fell on the side of O’Malley, with just 22.5% of fan scorecards favoring the Montana native.

However, the right result or not, the discussion has once again brought up talk of control time. That was perhaps not aided by the commentary team, with many arguing that Daniel Cormier and Paul Felder reverted to old habits by suggesting a takedown without subsequent offense could ‘steal a round’. Jon Anik also made a similar remark post-fight, branding Yan’s five minutes and 44 seconds of control time as a “major factor.”

Additionally, according to one active UFC fighter, control time should most certainly be of major consideration in the scoring of fights.

UFC’s Vannata Promises To Show Fans The Significance Of Control

As well as the likes of former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, welterweight star Jorge Masvidal, and featherweight contender Bryce Mitchell, 12-fight UFC veteran Lando Vannata was vocal with his thoughts post-UFC 280.

After branding O’Malley’s win inside the Etihad Arena as the “biggest robbery” he’s ever seen, the 30-year-old 145lber went back and forth with fans over the value of control time.

Having dismissed the views of anyone who’s never stepped foot in an MMA gym, Vannata challenged the ‘dorks who complain about control time not mattering’ to visit him in Albuquerque, where he trains at Jackson’s MMA Acoma.

“I need a volunteer, one of you dorks who complains about control time not mattering without significant damage. Come visit me in Albuquerque and I can show you how what control time feels like,” Vannata wrote.

The portions of the scoring criteria under dispute are those surrounding Fighting Area Control and Effective Striking/Grappling.

Fighting Area Control: Fighting area control is assessed by determining who is dictating the pace, place, and position of the match. Fighting Area Control shall only be assessed if Effective Striking/Grappling and Effective Aggressiveness is 100% equal for both competitors. This will be assessed very rarely.

Effective Striking/Grappling: Legal blows that have immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to contribute towards the end of the match with the IMMEDIATE weighing in more heavily than the cumulative impact. Successful execution of takedowns, submission attempts, reversals and the achievement of advantageous positions that produce immediate or cumulative impact with the potential to contribute to the end of the match, with the IMMEDIATE weighing more heavily than the cumulative impact.

The camp in opposition to Vannata interprets the language of the scoring criteria to mean that in order to score in the eyes of the judges, the fighter in control must utilize their position to inflict effective offense — striking and submission attempts — that could contribute towards the end of the fight.

Meanwhile, Vannata and many others who believe Yan was robbed argue that the scoring criteria do not outright dismiss the value of position and control time. And apparently, this is a position that Vannata is prepared to fight for.

What do you think? Is Lando Vannata right? And will you be taking him up on his challenge?

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