UnderGround Forums An intriguing suggestion for grading fights

9/18/17 10:23 AM
12/3/08
Posts: 20786

Manager Alex Davis serves a long list of fighters, and sometimes serves as the conscience of the sport. The founding manager of ATT and lifelong Judoka regularly pens a must-read column for MMAjunkie, and in his latest, he offers an intriguing suggestion.

The industry always prioritizes fighters who have the best-looking record on paper. At the same time, everyone who watches the sport wants to see exciting fights. But the way we measure fights relies mostly on wins or losses, with little attention to how those fights actually played out.

The way it stands, you can have a guy with a 20-0 record who won all of those fights by stalling and not taking any risks, while you can have another fighter that’s 10-10 who consistently put on amazing fights, took risks, let it all hang out and made the crowd chew on their nails. But at the end of the day, the guy who earned those 20 wins stalling will have more value. What we are doing, in reality, is statistically punishing the kind of fighter who’s willing to take risks, which in truth is the fighter that we really want to see.

 

To help change this, I would like to propose a simple grading system for fights.

There’s no need for it to be complicated. I would suggest a simple arrangement with which fights are rated between 1 and 4. A grade 1 fight is an absolute sleeper. A grade 2 fight is an average fight. A grade 3 fight is a good fight, and a grade 4 fight is an amazing fight. It’s that simple, and collecting this would be a really easy thing to do: All that needs to happen is the judges not only score the fight and who won, but also grade the fight based on how interesting, exciting and technical that fight was.

This system would not mean a lot of additional work or time commitment in any sense by any of the different parties that score or record fights. It’s actually almost too simple and easy for any of the complete nincompoops out there to mess up!

Adopting this system will help to give value to fighters who consistently go out there and take risks. Sure, wins and losses still matter, but this will provide a way to identify fighters who know how to entertain the fans and will reward the kind of fighter that goes out there and puts on amazing fights.

 

Edited: 9/18/17 11:24 AM
5/15/09
Posts: 4492

First, define as MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.

9/18/17 10:42 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 11255
kennyfrommd -

First, define is MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.

I agree. The purpose of a sport is to win. Sometimes that is entertaining, other times it's not. 

9/18/17 11:05 AM
1/1/01
Posts: 41596

Fighter A is Askren and B is Hunto?

9/18/17 11:05 AM
3/14/09
Posts: 9816

Interesting troll, UG Blog. 

9/18/17 12:18 PM
2/1/08
Posts: 11072

I guess I just don't understand the point.

 

We all know who the exciting fighters are.  Putting some arbitrary ranking on it doesn't mean anything.

 

Obviously guys who are winners are going to move up the rankings, but exciting fighters are also going to get opportunities that other fighters won't.

9/18/17 12:40 PM
11/18/14
Posts: 1536

very interesting and food for thought 

9/18/17 1:17 PM
1/24/16
Posts: 371

EGG would love it. The adaption of this rule would make this "sport" even more like a circus

9/18/17 1:39 PM
9/1/04
Posts: 24763
kennyfrommd - 

First, define as MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.


Nobody is curing cancer out there, sports ARE entertainment.
9/18/17 4:45 PM
8/15/11
Posts: 736
kennyfrommd -

First, define as MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.

If there is no entertainment then money is less and the sport will become a hobby.

Every sport finds ways and rule changes to make it less negative.

Football (soccer) had the no back pass rule amongst other experiments to promote entertainment such as more points for a win or away goals.

Other sports have shot clocks and timers.

MMA has evolved its judging and refereeing to promote action.

Etc etc.

It's an astonishing suggestion to sacrifice entertainment from a sport people pay money to watch.
Edited: 9/18/17 4:47 PM
7/14/08
Posts: 23875
HaMMerHouseFAN -
kennyfrommd -

First, define is MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.

I agree. The purpose of a sport is to win. Sometimes that is entertaining, other times it's not. 

Its prize fighting. You are fighting for a prize. Win the crowd, Maximus. If you only want it to be a "sport", enjoy amateur high school/college wrestling. 

9/18/17 4:55 PM
7/31/09
Posts: 12684
GladiatorGannon -
kennyfrommd - 

First, define as MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.


Nobody is curing cancer out there, sports ARE entertainment.
Sports are entertainment but surely you can differentiate between a sport and a show, right? The danger is in decreasing the integrity of a sport in favor of making it a little more entertaining.

Its not curing cancer but it doesnt have to be and theres no reason to not hold a sport to a high standard.
9/18/17 5:12 PM
6/20/11
Posts: 28895

Tbh it's a silly idea 

9/18/17 6:57 PM
5/13/11
Posts: 34859
Silly idea.

Even if it's an idea we should consider, no fucking way we leave the grading to the fucking judges. A panel of mma journalists MAYBE.
Edited: 9/18/17 7:28 PM
1/6/10
Posts: 15050

We need to grade the judges and ref's this way with a transparent registered online fan / media vote

 

A) borning always gets it right 

B) sometimes gets it wrong, inexperienced or ADHD

C) gone senile, never once trained the sport / Cecil Peoples resemblance

D) bribable, goes to snort coke in the niddle of a fight, scores based on looks, Adelaide Bird

 

9/18/17 7:28 PM
3/6/05
Posts: 4111
Just use the smaller cage and guys all elite fighting attributes will rise to the top
9/18/17 11:14 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 41906

I know which fighters and fights are entertaining without a silly grading system.

 

and a giant lol at any system that gives judges more numbers to play with.

9/18/17 11:35 PM
9/19/05
Posts: 6151
So Im confused. Whats the point of this? Just to rank fights as a whole for ease of watching exciting fights and skipping boring ones? What kind of impact does or should it have on rankings or belts?

Interesting idea I suppose. It would be cool to be able to see it on the Tale of the Tape or something. If 2 fighters with a majority of grade 4 fights are fighting you can assume itll be interesting, and vice versa. But really, you just cant rank, or give a title shot to, a 10-10 guy above a 20-0 guy just because the 10-10 fighter goes out there, bites down and starts swinging and half the time he stays standing at the end, when the 20-0 guy uses great technique, stamina, and ability to win everytime.

I dunno, just my thoughts
9/18/17 11:38 PM
1/1/01
Posts: 11258
MickColins -
HaMMerHouseFAN -
kennyfrommd -

First, define is MMA is sport or entertainment. If it is the former, can it with all the "putting on a show" garbage. You get rewarded for that with frequent and favorable match ups, and of course, your purse. Fighting like a caveman or doing spin kicks should have absolutely no bearing on your ranking, or else Diego Sanchez would be King of the UFC.

I agree. The purpose of a sport is to win. Sometimes that is entertaining, other times it's not. 

Its prize fighting. You are fighting for a prize. Win the crowd, Maximus. If you only want it to be a "sport", enjoy amateur high school/college wrestling. 

Then why do we even care if the two fighters are trained or not? Surely, you could get two regular people to fight and it would still be entertaining. 

9/19/17 1:25 AM
6/22/13
Posts: 1033

Pride style scoring. Yellow n red cards included 

9/19/17 1:42 AM
8/10/11
Posts: 630
Why would we give judges more responsibility?

If there where more judges than the law of averages should make singular bad calls less impactful.
9/19/17 5:41 AM
3/25/02
Posts: 10240
OP spelled convoluted long.
9/19/17 8:06 AM
5/30/11
Posts: 5576

I'm all for making MMA more exciting, but I don't see how an arbitrary 4-point scale would help at all. You probably can't put quantifiable criteria on where a "good" fight ends and where an "amazing" fight begins, and the ratings would just confuse people. If you think judges piss people off now, just imagine when there opinions of how good a fight was go into the official record books.

I also don't see how this would change who does or does not get more opportunities or more promotion. The UFC and other promotions already value exciting fighters and exciting fights, and those things will already get fighters more bookings and get them fasttracked to a title shot if they keep winning. Not to mention the UFC and other promotions directly reward exciting fighters with fight night bonuses, one of whom always goes to a losing fighter in the Fight of the Night.

This proposal adds nothing to the sport except a new way for judges to piss off the fanbase, while bringing the sport closer to pro-wrestling in the negative sense.

If they want to make the sport more exciting, use a slightly smaller cage to press the action like in WEC. Re-design the gloves to prevent eye pokes. Hold more tournaments. Have slightly longer round breaks so fighters aren't quite as gassed. Let fighters use canned oxygen immediately prior to the fight (remember when those were a thing for like, 3 weeks?). Make damage done and aggression bigger scoring criteria. Etc.

The four-point scale is the sort of shit I'd probably have come up with in college while stoned as fuck.

9/19/17 9:02 AM
12/9/02
Posts: 11282
The purpose of a spectator sport is to ENTERTAIN.

If you want fighters to get paid then it has to be a sport people are willing to pay for. So it has to be a spectator sport and it has to ENTERTAIN.

And OP is wrong. The fighter with the best record isn't perceived as having the higher value. That's just a selling point - for the SELLER to try and sell. The BUYER knows who they want to see regardless of record.
9/19/17 9:04 AM
12/9/02
Posts: 11283
And hell no to judges grading a fight and creating more artificial SELLING points