Did UFC fighter Angela Hill lose $ 73,000 to bad judges?


Poor judgment in MMA set back the careers of professional fighters, shattered dreams of future prospects and possibly cost UFC fighter Angela Hill a bonus of $ 73,000 after her recent loss to Amanda Lemos.

“Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges” is a common saying among fight fans.

But Hill manager Brian Butler, president of Sucker Punch Entertainment, calls it a laid back perspective. “When you have two elite fighters training for 8 weeks to get injured, you can’t expect it to be that way,” Butler explains. “It’s not in black and white.”

He is right.

There is little margin for error as a professional athlete. For example, a field goal point is the most common margin of victory in the NFL, and a point often makes the difference between winning or losing in the MLB. Combat sports are no different.

Victory and defeat live seconds apart in mixed martial arts, where judges must consider the impact of strikes and grabs, execution of eliminations, knockdowns, effective aggression, zone control, etc., according to the ABC MMA rule set.

Highlight reels and knockout memes capture fighters at their worst or best, but lack their nuance. The problem is that judges do it too, often with impunity and at a terrible cost. It’s more than just an “L” on a fighter’s record, as the numbers on a scorecard influence the numbers on a fighter’s paycheck.

UFC President Dana White, Joe Rogan and others have said the judgment of MMA needs to change. But what can we do? And is it just the judges? Or is the score to blame as well?

MMA score: The devil is the decimals

Typically, a “10-8” round is a dominant performance, a narrow margin wins a “10-9” round, and a “10-10” round is when there is no noticeable difference.

But the devil is in the decimals.

For example, take the rematch between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski on Saturday, July 11, 2020 at UFC 251. Holloway’s loss sparked outrage in the mixed martial arts community.

UFC President Dana White was asked about the decision following the rematch and replied point blank, “We have bad judgments.” Joe Rogan also criticized MMA’s judgment.

Why are boxing judges MMA judges?

Rogan said many judges knew little or nothing about martial arts while commenting on the rematch via his podcast. “But they’re still judges in Vegas because they were judges on the boxing commission,” Rogan said.

“They don’t all do a bad job, even those who don’t know anything about martial arts, they don’t all do a bad job, but some of them are terrible,” Rogan said.

“One of those laps was scored 10-9 when it was a 9.57-9.46 round, and he [Holloway] won what was after that decimal point, ”said Mandeep Singh, co-founder of Verdict MMA.

“That loss is the reason Holloway missed out on PPV points. Instead, he’s fighting in the Apex. We’re talking millions of dollars.”

Singh and his co-founders, Sanjay Thakur and David Chung, developed the Verdict app to aggregate score data from MMA fans in real time. And their new scoring system may be the best next step for judging in combat sports.

“If you have a lot more judges, you get a more balanced perspective,” Rogan said of Holloway Volkanovski II. Have ten real experts as judges; you’ll probably pick the right guy. “

Whatever solution is, let’s find it soon, so that the fighters don’t continue to pay the price.


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