UFC 163 Review
By Mike Fagan, August 6th, 2013
If you watched UFC 163, you would have seen Lyoto Machida earn a decision over Phil Davis. But you didn’t watch UFC 163, because you decided to spend your hard-earned $50 at the bar in an effort to get laid. You went home empty handed, the judges awarded Phil Davis the victory, and no one’s happy about any of this except for Phil Davis, who probably did get laid after the fight.
We can complain all we want about the judging problems in MMA, but the world needs less whiners and more doers. Do-ers? More people that do things. With that in mind, here’s a Bleacher Report slideshow of judging solutions (in one easy-to-read slide):
-Increase the number of judges. The Unified Rules call for three judges cageside. There’s nothing special or inherent about the number three. Somewhere in the history of combat sports, people started using three judges, and now it’s 2013 and three judges is industry standard. But you know what else is kind of money? More judges. Kickboxing promotion Glory experimented with five judges, but why stop there? The most serious cases in Ancient Greece called for juries of up to 1501 people. But Mike, you interject, rudely, as this is my column and not yours, surely it would be impossible to find 1501 trained officials! To that I remind you that one of these trained judges scored round 3 for Phil Davis on Saturday. Bring on the wisdom of the unwashed masses.
-Decrease the number of judges. The UFC views decisions more as suggestions than anything else, so why not cut the middle men? After the fight Dana White enters the cage, points to whom he deems the winner, hands the losing fighter a spear and a shield, and sends in the lions.
-Feed the cageside doctors copious amounts of psychedelics. Mushrooms, acid, peyote, whatever you can get your hands on. Douglas Crosby experimented with this at UFC 112.
-Ensure the judges see all the action. A few years ago, commissions started installing cageside monitors for judges. I have no idea if this is still a thing, if judges watch the monitors, how the NSA is using the monitors to spy on the American public, etc. But I do know that there are plenty of distractions in an arena during a cage fight. It’s loud, there’s dudes fighting in the crowd, women showing their tits, Marcedes Lewis. They handled this best in A Clockwork Orange. Strap the judges down, pry their eyes open, and make sure someone is on hand to apply eyedrops. Beethoven is optional.
-Robot judges. FightMetric already supplies stats to the UFC. The next step is to build robots that can analyze the FightMetric algorithm at unprecedented levels. In 50 years, we’ll be slaves to the robots. But hey! No more problems with judging.
-Prescient animal judges. Paul the Octopus correctly predicted 11 of 13 World Cup matches in 2010. That’s gotta be as good a rate as the current judges.
-Lincoln-Douglas debates. Move the post-fight interviews right after the fight. Each fighter gives a one-minute statement on why he or she should earn the decision. Then each is allowed five minutes for rebuttal of the opening statements, before a final two-minute period for closing remarks. Debaters will be judged on wit, clarity of thought, pronunciation, aggression, and Octagon control.
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-For a serious look at fixing MMA judging, here’s an article about rewriting the Unified Rules I wrote for Bloody Elbow. Tell Kid Nate I said hi.
-Jose Aldo gave us the worst performance of his WEC/UFC run. He landed 32 significant strikes over 17 minutes of fighting. That, eyeballing the rest of his tracked fights at FightMetric, is the worst striking rate (per minute) of his career. Chan Sung Jung actually outlanded Aldo 8-3 in significant strikes, and 26-7 in total strikes, in the third. Had Jung’s arm stayed in place, we might have been in line for an interesting decision.
-So, what’s up with Aldo? He kept a slow pace early in the fight, but still tired by the third round. Coach Andre Pederneiras told the media that Aldo broke his foot with the first kick he threw in the fight. His camp claimed sickness back at UFC 129, when Mark Hominick almost-kind-of-but-not-really-at-all-you-goons won the title from Aldo in round 5.
It’s fair to ask two questions: 1) Is the weight cut to 145 limiting Aldo in the cage? 2) Does he train down to his competition?
Could be both. Could be neither.
-Could be also that I just want to see him at 155 pounds. He’s beaten four of the top five guys at featherweight. He’s now looking at Ricardo Lamas or rematches against Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, or Cub Swanson.
Meanwhile, at lightweight, anyone in the top ten is a more interesting fight, let alone an immediate shot at the title. Holy shit, Aldo and Jim Miller? Nate Diaz? Donald Cerrone? My crotch feels funny. (And it’s not the jock itch.)
-From the second angle in this GIF, it’s clear Herb Dean sees Jung’s arm turn up funky, and Jung play field nurse and attempt to set it himself. I’m of the impression this sort of injury necessitates stopping the fight, so…what the hell was Herb doing?
-If you’ve ever thought ex-fighters would make good judges, check fighters Twitter accounts following controversial decisions. No thanks.
-The decision in the Davis-Machida fight is unfortunate because it overshadowed a quality effort from Davis. But because the judges awarded him a fight he lost, he sucks and, oh my god, he didn’t even do anything in the fight, what the fuck how can you score any round for him?
-You know what could have prevented all this? Two more rounds! That and Chris Watts scoring the very obvious round 3 for Machida.
-Final word: This card sucked. I know this card sucked because I struggled to write 1000 words on it. This card, hopefully, will be the last PPV or BIG FOX show to suck.