UFC heavyweight contender Chris Daukaus has given his take on the state of judging in mixed martial arts and named something that would make him more confident in it.
While the fighter pay debate rages on as perhaps the most prominent in the sport, a perceived issue surrounding the scoring of fights certainly isn’t too far behind. So far this year, a number of results have split opinions.
Much of the discussion has surrounded the weight placed on grappling, largely through a misconception about the value of position and control outlined in the scoring criteria. That saw Ketlen Vieira’s victory over Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko’s narrow successful defense against Taila Santos met with heavy scrutiny.
That topic was brought back to the surface at UFC Vegas 60 when Andre Fili secured a split decision victory over Bill Algeo — with the victor slamming judge Chris Lee for scoring the third round and the fight in favor of “Señor Perfecto.”
Opinions and solutions have been wide-ranging. Whilst some have called for open scoring to allow fighters to know where they stand, others have suggested that the issue lies with a lack of understanding of what judges are actually looking for per the criteria.
For Daukaus, and many others, the problem is the individuals.
During a recent appearance on The AllStar YouTube channel, Daukaus provided his view on MMA judging, admitting that he wouldn’t trust any of the people responsible for scoring the fights at Octagon-side
“It’s crazy. Even the commentators are going back and forth on what should be scored and they’re just guys getting paid to talk about it, not getting paid to judge it,” Daukaus said. “I wouldn’t trust those people to judge anything. That’s why I don’t let it go to the judges, ’cause those people f*cking suck.”
Daukaus Calls For Fight-Trained Judges
Daukaus went on to explain that his doubts derive from the fact he has no knowledge of the judges having any prior fight experience, be it professionally or through training. According to the #11-ranked UFC heavyweight, he’d feel a lot more trusting should judges gain an understanding of the sport through practical experience.
“What is a gogoplata? What is an omoplata? Show me how to do those moves,” Daukaus said. “Is this guy in danger when he’s in this type of armbar or is this guy just holding the position? Is a rear-naked choke a dangerous position at a (certain) point in time, or is it just a holding position? … It would make me feel better as a fighter if I knew that judges were competent or at least trained in some way.”
A lot of scrutiny towards judges has surrounded the fact they aren’t made to explain or defend controversial decisions. That rarity was, however, on display, with judge Seth Fuller taking to YouTube to explain a scorecard that turned heads at July’s UFC 277 pay-per-view.
While public explanations may not convince fans, fighters, and pundits that a decision was correct, perhaps it could add some understanding of what led certain judges to lean away from the consensus view.
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