UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

Dan Hardy Calls for Transparency and Accountability in Combat Sports Judging

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The issue of judging in combat sports, particularly MMA, has long been a topic of concern and criticism. Dan Hardy, a former UFC fighter and current commentator, is among those advocating for a change in the system. Hardy believes that judges should be required to explain their scoring, especially in cases where their decisions are seen as controversial by the general consensus.

Hardy points out the recent example of Kai Kara-France‘s split decision loss to Amir Albazi, despite Kara-France out-striking his opponent in all five rounds. The judges’ scoring, which prioritized Albazi’s control time over Kara-France’s significant strikes, has sparked further debate about the effectiveness of the current scoring system.

In Europe, where Hardy is familiar with the judging process, judges are expected to provide a detailed explanation of their scoring decisions, both to the public and among themselves. Hardy believes that this practice should be adopted more widely to enhance transparency and understanding of the judging criteria.

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“[What] I’d like to see is judges be able to stand in front of the public and make good reasoning for why they made those decisions,” Hardy said. 

“The judges that I know that work in the European scene, they’ll sit down and tell you exactly why they scored every round and they’ll sit down after the events and discuss it amongst themselves as well. 

“But we had the same thing in boxing the other week. There was a lot of controversy around the Lomachenko-Haney scoring. And same thing again, the judge just kind of, they get in their car, they drive home and the whole industry is left kind of shaken by this one person’s decision who then isn’t held in any way… And I’m not saying held accountable. It’s a hard job to do.

“But what you do want is for people to explain the decisions that they make. Especially when thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes, and big opportunities are on the line.”

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The financial stakes involved in combat sports make it even more crucial for judges to be accountable for their decisions. Kara-France reportedly lost $100,000 due to the split decision defeat, which can have a significant impact on his career and his family’s well-being. Fighters and fans alike have been calling for judges to be more transparent and justify their decisions, especially when significant amounts of money and career opportunities are on the line.

This issue is not limited to MMA, as boxing has also faced similar controversies. Devin Haney‘s unanimous decision win over Vasiliy Lomachenko is mentioned as another example where the majority of viewers, including the announcers and fans on social media, believed Lomachenko should have won.

The repeated occurrence of controversial judging decisions highlights the need for a thorough examination and potential reform of the scoring system in combat sports. By demanding transparency and accountability from judges, there is hope for greater fairness and consistency in determining the outcomes of fights.

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