Alex Davis takes poor officials to task

by Alex Davis | source:

If Dana White is the controversial heart of Mixed Martial Arts, manager Alex Davis is the sport's conscience. In what is now a continuing series for MMAJunkie, Davis turns his attention towards Regulation.

Mixed Martial Arts rests on regulation; Dana White cites it as a central reason for the past decades success. Regulation is at once the most central, the most thankless, and least understood aspect of the sport. To give a simple example of how little understood it is, the majority of fans assume that the UFC chooses refs (for confirmation that they don't, check with Joe Silva, Dana White, or Steve Mazzagatti :-)

Fighters aren't going to fight a perfect fight, and referees and other officials may not do a perfect job either. However, as Davis details, there is a line short of perfection that has to be met, and sometimes it is not.

I have been in situations where I taught referees what an armbar is, what the guard is, what mounted means.

I saw a young man get kicked in the groin so hard that he convulsed inside the octagon and started throwing up... But the officials simply brushed his shorts off, patted him on the back and said, "Go get 'em brother!"

Or how about the commissioner who directed the camps during a rules meeting that fighters should not be celebrating after a win?

And how about that prominent judge who once stated that "Leg kicks don't end fights"? I remember thinking I wanted to get him in front of Edson Barboza and let "Junior" just kind of nudge that judge with a glancing blow or two.

Don't get me wrong, I have also met many sincere professionals along the way who took the time to educate themselves, who have a true intent on the safety and regulation of the sport and who are working to improve the quality of MMA judging and officiating.

They have to exist, for sure. If not, things would be a complete mess. But what does need to happen – and urgently – is that true professional need to fill up all of these commission positions.

I can tell you, nothing is more irritating than being on the wrong side of a bad decision... There's nothing you can do about it. You are bound by the system to live with an error and its effects, because you cant buck the commission. And trust me when I tell you (and speaking from personal experience), you can't.

But that mentality has to change. We as fans and fighters pay these people to do a job, and just as in any other case, if they don't do it right, we should have the right to address it. We must all hold the commissions and their employees to the highest standards. When they meet then, we must go out of our way to show our appreciation for a job well done. But when they fail, no one should need to fear the repercussions of speaking out against obvious mistakes.

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Recent Comments »

NarlyPersianDude site profile image  

5/17/12 2:21 PM by NarlyPersianDude

the solution is having not just Ricardo Almeida as judge, but scores of people like him as judges, the fights should only be judged by people like Almeida or Eddie Bravo or Nate Quarry or Jeremy Horn, the people who know the sport should judge the sport.Look at a stupid show like american idol, even on nonsense like that, at least they have people like Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler, the people who know their stuff in that arena. You go to a karate tourny, you dont see judo officials judging, you see karate officials, you go to a jujitsu tourny, you dont see kenpo officials judging, you see jujitsu officials, yet in mma you have boxing officials and other uninformed people judging the sport. That is 80% of the problem right there, the other 20% is the rules, octagon control makes no sense, it's a mma fight, not a boxing contest, you dont need to stand flat footed in front of someone, guys like Condit and Machida should not be at a disadvantage because they like to move around during a fight, and getting a takedown and doing nothing should mean nothing, look at MightyMouse and Torres, Mightymouse took him down, so what, he did nothing was defending from subs and strikes the entire time.The problem is simple to fix, yet judges who truly know the sport, intelligent guys like Almeida and Jeremey Horn, and score the fight the right way, give just as much if not more credit to guys on the bottom who go for subs and strikes.needs to happen right away foshizzle

crzyJenks site profile image  

5/17/12 2:00 PM by crzyJenks

Just go look at Adalaide Byrd's resume of horrible decisions. Right now it seems there is no accountability when a judge botches dec after dec. More should be done when something is blatantly wrong.

Glovegate site profile image  

5/17/12 3:10 AM by Glovegate

I have WAY more sympathy for a ref or even a judge than I do bureaucrats on a commission. Making split second calls as a ref or coming to a decision in minutes as a judge without the luxury of a second watch is rather difficult.What needs to be fixed is having a commission with people who let their own egos get in the way of justice. People who condescendingly instruct fighters to speak respectfully when they haven't yet been rude. People who are utterly incapable of admitting they fucked up even when indisputable evidence is dangled directly in front of their face.For Kizer to be confronted with the vid proving Ludwig has the fastest KO and then come back and MAKE UP a number so that he doesn't have to admit he's wrong is a fucking joke.This whole system is a joke.

goeb site profile image  

5/17/12 2:08 AM by goeb

We all want this to happen, but what solution is there really if commission protect their employees from speaking out against controversial actions by officials?It really is a thankless job to be an official. I cannot empathize how rough it is. Hopefully we can find a middle ground....Also I know most people here definitely want to lynch mob these officials but they are human too.