Mann Talk just got robbed

Much like Alan Belcher, my column was not actually robbed, but don’t tell Joe Rogan that. Anyone who watched the Yoshihiro Akiyama and Alan Belcher fight with the ten-point must system in mind should have been able to see that Akiyama won the first two rounds and thus the fight. Yes, Akiyama was dead tired. Yes, Belcher could have turned it on and won the fight, but that is not what happened. Despite being spent, Akiyama’s striking was continually cleaner and more effective.

I could go on and on about how the decision was righteous and justified, but at the same time that is so obvious it doesn’t deserve space on PRO MMA ( What does warrant this edition of Mann Talk is the way the UFC’s commentating team deals with judging, Rogan can cry robbery all he wants. After all commentators are there to provide commentary. However, Rogan and Goldberg need to start talking about judging in context of the ten-point must system.

At the beginning of every card Mike Goldberg clearly explains the system is based on “effective striking, grappling, aggression, and octagon control.” Once the fights start it seems as if judging becomes a mystery “that could go either way” and they always seem to mention these mystery “points” that don’t really exist. Every once in a while, Goldberg will say, “you could make the argument…”

The point is, if Rogan truly wants to call a fight a robbery he should have scored each round clearly, concisely, and on live on air for everyone to hear, just like almost every MMA website that does a live play-by-play. That would have not only made the scoring system clear to viewers, but also it would have given value to his opinion.

Back in the day, the UFC would bring in Eddie Bravo between rounds to do the scoring, much like any respectable boxing telecast. This not only gave fans the opinion of the otherworldly Bravo, but it also gave them insight into how these fights are actually judged and how winners are determined.

Could you imagine watching a boxing telecast that didn’t have one of the commentators giving scores between rounds? The UFC team not only does not do scoring, but they also present it in a foggy fashion that makes it seem trite and ungoverned.

Although, Alan Belcher was not robbed, many fighters are in today’s fight game. The inclusion of round scoring during the UFC’s broadcasts will educate the public and hopefully improve the next generation of judges. Until that happens we will all be robbed.

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