Alex Davis calls for discussion around MMA's biggest structural problems
If UFC president Dana White is the controversial heart of Mixed Martial Arts, manager Alex Davis is the sport's conscience. Davis is former national Judo champ in both the USA and Brazil, co-founded ATT, and currently manages a number of Brazilian MMA standouts including Edson Barboza, Antonio Carlos Junior, Thiago Santos, 'Bigfoot' Silva, and Thiago Tavares. He is also a long-time writer for MMAjunkie, and it's always must-read.
In his latest, Davis argues that while the level of technique in mixed martial arts has increased enormously, regulation of the sport itself has not kept pace. He offers some direction for improvement.
•How about if we announced the score between rounds?
•How about if we create a fight gradings system based on entertainment value - 1, 2, 3 or 4. If you have a guy that’s lost three fights in a row, but they were all recorded as grade-4 fights, it would mean that even though this fighter's lost, you know he came to fight every time, and we want him back!
•How about the weigh-in system? Why don’t we try something similar to ONE Championship’s weigh-ins, a system that doesn’t let anyone go through extreme dehydration?
•How about if we had five judges?
•How about if the strike count was fed to the judges from one of these FightMetric-type sites, leaving only the subjective parts to the fights for the judges to evaluate?
It is not OK that we do not evolve. ... This is our fault. We do not get together and discuss these things. If they are not discussed, if there is no thought put into an effort to evolve the sport, then we absolutely will not evolve.
I write this to shout out at the public – to everyone who participates in or follows MMA – to point out a problem, to encourage discussion, and create change and evolving. I would ask that everyone who reads this and cares, please help spread this article, this feeling. ... I do not own the truth; I am but one individual. But I do know that if we do not try, if we do not fight, if we do not discuss, nothing will ever change.
We need to get together as a community to help build a better MMA.