UFC Ultimate Fight Night 25 Postmortem

Posted: September 18, 2011 in MMA
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m going to go over the picks, but I have to start with yet another frustrating example of a very serious problem we have with ignorance in the mixed martial arts industry.

Judges Aren’t the Only Ones Who Don’t Know How to Judge

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Here we go again. During the fight between Koch and Brookins, Joe Rogan commented that Brookins was showing excellent octagon control and aggressiveness by constantly pushing Koch against the cage in an attempt to take down Koch. He said this despite the fact that Brookins never succeeded. (Arguably, he succeeded once, but that looked like a slip to me after Brookins had stopped trying.) I’ve talked about this before, but no one is listening, including Joe Rogan, who’s paid tons of money to get this right. The CSAC rules (I’m guessing the rules governing Louisiana mixed martial arts events are substantially similar) expressly say three things relevant here:

  1. “A striker who fends off a grappler’s takedown attempt to remain standing and effectively strike is [demonstrating] octagon control” (which Koch did with a success rate of at least 90%);
  2. “[S]hooting takedowns and getting countered and fended off is not effective aggressiveness” (which happened to Brookins almost constantly); and
  3. “Moving forward and getting struck is not effective aggressiveness” (which Brookins did whenever he wasn’t busy shooting takedowns that were getting countered).

Besides the ignorance of Rogan’s statement, it’s even more offensive considering that he is one of the biggest critics of the fact that the judges are constantly getting decisions wrong. Showing such blatant ignorance of the rules that govern judging casts doubt on every criticism Rogan has made, and it certainly doesn’t help with fan understanding. This is both ironic and tragic because the judges also have consistently shown the exact misunderstanding of the rules that Rogan, one of their greater critics, demonstrates himself. The judges aren’t going to read my low-profile blog, so if the one person who might have their ear isn’t getting it right himself, it sets back the cause of correcting the problem.

When the decision came down, Rogan was critical of it, saying, “I guess they chose the striking over the aggression and octagon control, which is a very subjective choice.” I don’t even know where to begin! This again shows his remarkable ignorance on yet another level. The rules demand that judges are to score fights based on effective striking or grappling first and second (in either order depending on circumstances), and then Octagon control third, and effective aggressiveness fourth. Even if you somehow give Brookins the fight on both control and aggressiveness, he still loses if he gets beat clearly through effective striking and/or effective grappling. There’s nothing subjective about that. That’s mandated by the athletic commissions.

Thus for all Judges scoring UFC fights, the prioritized order of evaluating criteria is:
-clean strikes and effective grappling are weighed first.
-octagon control
-effective aggressiveness

I also believe that the judges get many decisions wrong, but when no one can agree on how to interpret the rules, it creates a huge problem on a professional level, and it also creates fan confusion and frustration. Although it’s hard to defend Joe’s clear ignorance of what the rules say, in the end this isn’t actually Joe Rogan’s fault. The athletic commissions need to have a thorough educational program for their judges, and annotations/comments accompanying the rules, so that judges clearly understand what the rules mean. Until they do, this is entirely their failure. Once they put that program in place, and if Joe Rogan, Mauro Ranallo, and all the rest are permitted to participate for their own information, then it is their fault if they deem that program as not worth their time to attend.

The ball is in the court of the athletic commissions. Get it together, gang.

And Now, Something Less Serious . . .

Oh, lord, the undercard killed me tonight. I went 4-0 in the main card, but I went 2-5 on the undercard. This brings me to a record of 29-16 (64%) in main cards, but 57-38 (60%) overall. My main card percentage went up, which is much more important, but my overall percentage is dropping. I need to watch some more fight video. I can’t blame all of these loses on errant flu bugs or hidden injuries. Some of these guys just plain lost. They were bad picks.

The questions (and my answers) that now linger are:

  1. Will Jake Ellenberger finally get the respect he deserves? Yes.
  2. Is Alan Belcher right back where he left off? No. He still has at least one tune-up to go.
  3. Does Jason MacDonald still have a job? No.
  4. Does Shamar Bailey still have a job? No.
  5. Is Evan Dunham back on track? Yes.
  6. Will Erik Koch get a title shot now or after Chad Mendes gets his? After.

Final Note: Ellenberger Is the Real Deal

I actually wrote the above paragraph before the Ellenberger-Shields fight, calculating my win-loss records assuming Ellenberger would win. This is not the slightest bit of a surprise for me. Although I picked simply a “KO/TKO” here, the afternoon before the card, I was on Fight Fans Radio talking about how that KO/TKO would probably come in the first round. He’s a winner and a contender.

Make sure to listen to Fight Fans Radio Monday through Thursday at 3pm for MMA news and analysis. Also listen in on Saturdays at 3pm before fight cards for my live Stupid Predictions™ segment.

Follow me on Twitter @MMADork
Follow Fight Fans Radio on Twitter @fightfansradio
Follow Erika Lewis on Twitter @FightFan_Erika
Follow the Ultimate Fighting Championship on Twitter @UFC
Follow Joe Rogan on Twitter @JoeRogan
Follow Jake Ellenberger on Twitter @EllenbergerMMA
Follow Jake Shields on Twitter @jakeshieldsajj
Follow Court McGee on Twitter @Court_McGee
Follow Dongi Yang on Twitter @dongiOXyang if you can read Korean
Follow Erik Jon Koch on Twitter @NEWBREED04
Follow Jonathan Brookins on Twitter @J_Brookins
Follow Alan Belcher on Twitter @alanbelcherufc
Follow Jason MacDonald on Twitter @jaymac185
Follow Cody McKenzie on Twitter @TheCodyMcKenzie
Follow Vagner Rocha on Twitter @Vagner_Rocha . . . maybe. It’s an unverified account.
Follow Shamar Bailey on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow Evan Dunham on Twitter @evandunham155
Follow Lance Benoist on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow Matt Riddle on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t (which is surprising).
Follow Ken Stone on Twitter @K3nStone . . . maybe. It’s an unverified account.
Follow Donny Walker on Twitter @EagleEyeMMA
Follow Seth Baczynski on Twitter @Sethbmma . . . maybe. It’s an unverified account.
Follow Clay Harvison on Twitter @ClayHeavyMetal
Follow Mike Stumpf on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow T.J. Waldburger on Twitter @TJWaldburger . . . maybe. It’s an unverified account.
Follow Mike Lullo on Twitter @@MLulloJr
Follow Robert Peralta on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow Justin Edwards on Twitter if you can find his account. I couldn’t.
Follow Jorge Lopez on Twitter @JorgeLopezWFT . . . maybe. It’s an unverified account.

  1. […] grappling and effective striking. However, if you recall my explanation of the rules from my UFC Fight Night 25 Postmortem (more reading, I know), Bones arguably didn’t claim the (less important) effective aggressiveness […]

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