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VCURamFan 05-08-2012 04:20 PM

Dana White Would Like to See More Ex-Fighters Become Officials


May 3, 2012 - NEW YORK -- Former UFC, PRIDE and Pancrase fighter Ricardo Almeida will make his major-event debut as a judge at Saturday night's UFC on FOX 3 card at the Izod Center in E. Rutherford, N.J.

And UFC president Dana White hopes Almeida will start a trend.

Speaking to reporters Thursday at the Beacon Theatre on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the UFC boss said that having those who have experienced what it's like to be in a fight would be ideally suited to take MMA officiating to the next level.

"I would like to see the fighters ref and judge," said White. "It makes all the sense in the world."

He used the man he considers the best referee in the business, Herb Dean, as an example. Dean has several pro MMA fights to his credit.

"The guy trains, he knows the sport," White said. "You see guys out there like [Steve] Mazzagatti, he's sitting there, he's thinking, I gotta get some milk and eggs after the fight.' I don't know what the [expletive] this guy's looking at, what he's thinking. Meanwhile this fighter's getting elbows dropped on his [expletive] head for 2 1/2 minutes, the fight should have been stopped 2 1/2 minutes ago. Herb Dean knows what its like to have an elbow dropped on your head."

There would, of course, be potential conflict-of-interest issues to deal with when former fighters become officials. Almeida, who is slated to judge the Josh Koscheck-Johny Hendricks co-feature bout Saturday, won't be judging any fighters with whom he trains, for example. But as far as White is concerned, the positives of involving former fighters outweigh such potential negatives.

"This isn't like other sports," said White. "You have a bad call in a baseball game and they have 100 more games left. You make a bad call in this sport and it affects his entire career."

kevint13 05-08-2012 04:37 PM

I would like to know who Almeida scored the Kos/Hendricks fight for since they didn't announce who each scored it for.

VCURamFan 05-08-2012 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by kevint13 (Post 190122)
I would like to know who Almeida scored the Kos/Hendricks fight for since they didn't announce who each scored it for.

He scored it for Kos.

rearnakedchoke 05-08-2012 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by VCURamFan (Post 190123)
He scored it for Kos.

so did i .. he did a good job ..

VCURamFan 05-08-2012 05:50 PM

Ricardo Almeida Scored Josh Koscheck as the Winner in Bout With Johny Hendricks


May 6, 2012 - In the co-main event last evening at UFC on FOX 3, welterweight contenders Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks fought in a closely-contested affair that marked the first time two NCAA Division I national champions fought in the UFC.

Hendricks was ultimately declared the winner, but only by split decision. Judges Jeff Blatnick and Cardo Urso scored the bout 29-28 for Hendricks. The dissenting judge who scored it 29-28 for Koscheck? Former UFC middleweight and welterweight contender and now retired fighter Ricardo Almeida.

It'd be a stretch to call scoring the fight for Koscheck irresponsible or evidence of poor judging, although there's not much of a quantitative defense for Koscheck. Still, judging is a qualitative endeavor and one hampered by vantage point, biases both ingrained or innocuous and the limits of one's ability to draw defensible conclusions about athletic performance. By the very nature of how judging is administered, a difference of opinion in close contests among those qualified to score MMA at the highest professional levels is inevitable. A score for Koscheck isn't bad even if it isn't ultimately the most defensible position to take.

Still, how could it be the only judge with professional MMA and UFC experience make the choice most qualified observes do not agree with and one not supported by quantitative data? Is it just a difference of opinion?

To answer that question, let's rewind all the way back to June of 2011. The event is UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin and the bout is a preliminary card featherweight fight between Darren Elkins and Michihiro Omigawa.

Over three rounds, Elkins an Omigawa battled in a close contest that was made all the more difficult to judge by the general lack of any major action. Points were scored, but it took a nuanced eye to notice all of the subtle ways points were being scored.

By the time the fight ended, virtually all online observers and media (as well as a healthy portion of those in attendance) scored the fight 29-28 for Omigawa. UFC President Dana White did, too. The judges, however, didn't see it that way. Judges Jason Darrah, Dave Hagen and Bill Mahood awarded the bout to Elkins, scoring it 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28, respectively.

A bad score or at least one that seems indefensible is not uncommon in MMA, but this fight was different. Why? All three judges had professional MMA experience. Mahood, in particular, was a UFC veteran.

To be clear, scoring last night's fight for Koscheck is not the same as scoring Elkins vs. Omigawa for Elkins. But the point is this: we don't know yet if former fighters - even those who achieved at the highest level - will necessarily be great MMA judges. Fighting and judging only share a small segment of overlapping skills. Understanding fighting enough to compete at the UFC level does not necessarily mean one automatically has the requisite judgment to evaluate the performance of other fighters according to the guidelines (and values that underwrite those guidelines) of the Unified Rules of MMA.

On balance, maybe former fighters will be better judges than what we are typically accustomed to living with. They've got a special and important experience. They certainly cannot be worse than boxing judges who've been grandfathered into judging MMA contests.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe we don't yet really know if it's actually true. Not yet, anyway. What we do know is that it's too early to say definitively former fighters necessarily make great judges. Intuitively, it makes sense and who would rather have Tony Weeks score a MMA fight than Almeida? Not many. Yet, would I take Jeff Blatnick (admittedly, he's got supreme amateur wrestling credentials) over just about any other judge, even those with fighting experience? Yeah, I probably would.

In Almeida's defense, a case for Koscheck could conceivably be cobbled together. Besides, split decision dissents aren't the worst thing in the world since the right guy won and all of Almeida's other decisions seem right on the money.

All I'm suggesting is that we hold off on declaring something true just because it's intuitively appealing. Our intuitions have to be backed up by experience. On those grounds, the jury is very much still out.

kevint13 05-08-2012 06:29 PM


Originally Posted by rearnakedchoke (Post 190124)
so did i .. he did a good job ..

I thought Kos won too....but was glad to see him lose :laugh:

VCURamFan 05-08-2012 06:51 PM


Originally Posted by kevint13 (Post 190129)
I thought Kos won too....but was glad to see him lose :laugh:

this :laugh:

flo 05-08-2012 06:55 PM

I would love to see Matt officiating or commenting at fights after he retires. I wonder if he wants to keep his hand in the sport? I think he'd be a great rep for the UFC and MMA in general.

VCURamFan 05-08-2012 07:04 PM


Originally Posted by flo (Post 190131)
I would love to see Matt officiating or commenting at fights after he retires. I wonder if he wants to keep his hand in the sport? I think he'd be a great rep for the UFC and MMA in general.

Matt's always said that he wants to retire to the farm, but from the UFC side of things, I think they're gonna offer him a position like what Chuck has as a thank you for all he's done for them throughout the years. I don't think Matt would take a do-nothing job just for a paycheck, but he's long said that if DW personally called to ask a favor, he can't say "no". Here's what I think would be perfect for Matt: Vice President of Officials Education.

The UFC hired long-time commission member Marc Ratner to be VP of Regulatory Affairs. At the time, the UFC was making a big push to fix a major problem - they weren't sanctioned in enough areas. So they sent a guy with a lot of experience to the various states they were targeting & had him specifically show them what needed to be done. Now we're facing a problem with the abilities of judges & refs. Time to send in a guy with a lot of experience to show the commissions what needs to be done to properly educate & test these officials.

Liddellfan 05-08-2012 08:05 PM

Matt definately deserves to be offered a spot with the UFC when he decides to retire. Like Chuck, Matt has been there for them the entire time and has bee na great promoter of the sport. Being the best WW ever is also another plus.

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