I won't add to those complaints. Even though I had it 48-47 for Cerrone, I thought it was close enough that a 48-47 decision for Henderson -- as all three judges had it -- was perfectly reasonable. I think people are too quick to jump on judges they disagree with, and I thought you brought up a good point on this week's
If we're going to complain about anything (and I don't want to spend too much time complaining after a great WEC show), I think we should complain about one judge giving all three rounds to Yves Jabouin against Raphael Assuncao, and about referee
But for the most part, my reaction to WEC 43 is simply that it was another good show from the UFC's little brother promotion. I can't wait for WEC 44.
Like you, it kills me when judges 20 feet apart can score a fight as if they viewed it through a mirror. This isn't anything new, and neither is Schorle's poor work in the cage. For as long as he's been charged to ref in California and Nevada, you'd think he would be more consistent. It's a hard job and MMA needs dedicated officials. They should also be competent. If it were up to me, regular testing and screening of refs and judges by regulators would be commonplace. Even then, though, how many regulators really -- and I mean really -- understand MMA?
The topic of bad scoring almost always falls back on the 10-point-must system. I never bought into the argument that it doesn't work for MMA. There's no need to tinker with the system, it would just add more confusion at this point. If you know what you're watching, it works fine.
I'll support scrapping the 10-point must system just as soon as someone proposes a better system. So far, I haven't seen it. I wouldn't mind seeing MMA judges take a cue from K-1 judges and be more liberal about giving scores of 10-10, 10-8 or even 10-7 to certain rounds, but overall I think bad judges would be bad judges no matter what system they're using.
I'm dubious, however, of the bout(s) WEC can make that would convince anyone currently enjoying the product for free to purchase it on PPV. If
The WEC needs do a better job of cultivating stars, and they can do so by working harder to sell individual fighters and their stories.
I agree with you about the challenges the WEC would face on pay-per-view. I think the only way a WEC PPV would sell is if it stacks the card: Maybe a Urijah Faber-Miguel Torres bout at 140 pounds on top of both Mike Brown defending the featherweight belt and Brian Bowles defending the bantamweight belt. But if it does that, what's left for the regular Versus shows? I'd like to see the WEC add both women's fights and a 125-pound flyweight class. That would give the promotion more depth.
A somewhat related question: Should MMA media decide what to cover based on what the majority of fans watch, or based on what we think is important? You and I know that
MMA should be covered like any other sport. The more meaningful the competition, the more coverage it deserves. There's no doubt in my mind that MMA media would better serve its readership and the sport by producing quality reporting on Aoki-Hansen over Guillard-Diaz, just as we'd focus on
Part of the reason Kimbo has received so much coverage is that he fought twice on network television and that was seen as a breakthrough for the sport. Do you think that's a legitimate reason to cover Kimbo? And will you cover the upcoming
The way ProElite, CBS and Showtime pushed Kimbo was definitely worth covering at the time. It felt like a phenomenon, something MMA in the States hadn't experienced before. I've covered a lot of fighters in venues across the globe and very few elicited the kind of reaction that Kimbo did. Today, though, if he was back on CBS, I wouldn't cover it the same way because it's clear he's not good. And I wrote something similar after he skirted by against James Thompson.
In my mind, the quality of the fighters involved is far more important in determining coverage than the level of their celebrity. Simply put, Emelianenko-Rogers is a major fight because of Fedor's involvement. He's the best heavyweight in the sport, and by retaining control over his career he's done something few mixed martial artists have ever been capable of. When he struck out on his own in 2007, getting a spot on CBS was something his handlers desperately wanted, and I think in terms of this particular fight that's an added element to the story. Yet, unlike in 2008, it's hardly the focus. For me, it doesn't really matter that the fight ended up on CBS over Showtime, SpikeTV, HDNet, Versus or anywhere else, though the fact that Emelianenko is fighting on network television in front of a potentially huge audience is an element that can't be ignored.