Should MMA Implement Open Scoring?

Understanding the 10 Point Must System and Open Scoring in MMA

In MMA, the “10-Point Must System” is in effect for all fights and has long been criticized for being biased and unreliable. In a fight, three judges score each round awarding the winner ten points and the loser nine points or less. If the round is equal, both fighters receive ten points. Judges determine the winner of a fight that runs to its full-time limit based upon the following criteria: clean strikes, effective grappling, Octagon control, and effective aggressiveness. Due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of scoring, fighters never like for the decision to go to the judges.

Judging at UFC 247

Judging at UFC 247 in Texas this past weekend came into question for a lot of the fights including Dominick Reyes vs. Jon Jones, Andre Ewell vs. Jonathan Martinez, Lauren Murphy vs. Andrea Lee and Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi. On the post-fight show following the event, Ariel Helwani discussed an idea for open scoring with Jon Anik and Anthony Smith.

“MMA, boxing and kickboxing might be the only sports on the planet where you don’t know where you stand” Helwani stated.

Helwani explained that with open scoring, the result would be displayed after each round so everyone can see how the judges scored the round. In this way, the fighter can tell whether he needs to step up his game or if what he is doing is working in the match.

Open Scoring in MMA

Some people may agree that open scoring could help eliminate some of the problems with judging in an MMA match. Others might argue that open scoring would take away from the anticipation of the decision at the end of the match. When watching a fight people love to comment on who they think won the round based on their opinion.

After the match when the two fighters are standing in the middle of the ring awaiting the announcement of the final winner, the mood in the arena is tense in anticipation. Open scoring might take away from this excitement. How do you rate open scoring? Are you unanimously for it or do you vote against it? What’s your final decision?