In light of all of the judging mishaps and whatnot from the past few UFC events. We thought it would be cool to chime in on the most recent debacle involving the third round of the Ortiz/Griffin II fight. To answer the question, in our opinion, just exactly warrants a judge granting a 10-8 round. A great deal of people I've spoken to have expressed that they thought that round was a 10-8 round. I've read one or two even go so far as to saying it should have been scored 10-7. Check it all out after the jump and please chime in with your own commentary on the subject matter. Opinions vary, but it's always good to hear different perspectives.
As fans of combat sports know, 10-9 rounds are by far the norm. A 10-9 round could signify a very narrow margin or a solid margin in fighter performance during a particular round. But what of the 10-8 round score? Like one Supreme Court Justice once said in regard to distinguishing between "art" and "pornography": I know it when I see it. Some would argue that a 10-8 round should be reserved for occasions when a fighter comes extremely close to finishing his opponent. I'm not so sure I agree, although I'll concede that most rounds that I've scored 10-8 have that occurrence in common. For sure, a fighter should do something extraordinary to warrant consideration for a 10-8 score in their favor. According to Nevada State Athletic Commission public records, 10-8 rounds are scored approximately 4.5% of the time (Source: FightMetric's Rami Genauer) Hopefully this will open up some good discussion, as I'd like to hear everyone in the MMA For Real community chime in on this one. But, as food for thought, here is evidence to support why I would have scored the third round of Ortiz-Griffin 2 a 10-8 round (source FightMetric):
Total landed strikes:
Griffin- 0 for 0
Ortiz- 0 for 2
I know that stats don't always tell the whole story (we've seen examples of that), but they are often indicative of something. In this case they're glaringly one sided. Griffin continually battered Ortiz throughout (outlanding him an otherworldly 8 to 1!) a five-minute span that probably had more than one fan scratching their head as to why Forrest didn't just put his opponent away. I'm really interested to hear different takes on this because it is a little subjective and maybe a little more of an art than a science.
Personally, a 10-8 round is a round that consists of two things. A culmination of damage inflicted over the round. And if you can answer "Yes" to the question of "was said fighter close to being finished at any time during that round?" Of course, it's all subjective...just as MMA judging is. However, I wouldn't have scored the third round of Ortiz/Griffin a 10-8. Why? Because while Griffin CLEARLY out struck the visibly gassed Ortiz, he didn't even knock Ortiz down, much less come close to finishing him in that round. A perfect example of a 10-8 round IMO, would be the first round of Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida. According to Fightmetric, Sanchez landed 35 power shots to the head of Guida and knocked him down once. Whereas Guida landed one take down and almost all of the strikes he landed were insignificant. Anyone watching the fight knew that Guida was in big trouble and was rocked on several occasions. It was clear that major damage was inflicted and that Guida was close to being finished at least once in that round. In regards to a fight in which the majority of it takes place on the ground. If Fighter A is landing consistent GnP while threatening with submissions while in a dominant position, while Fighter B is on the defense the entire time? Then I would consider that a 10-8 round as well.
My personal opinion, a 10-8 round should be a round where one fighter has a dominating offense against another fighter. Classic example is Forrest Griffin-Rampage Jackson's round 2. From memory, I don't even think Jackson threw one punch the entire round and while the damage may not have been crucial to the rest of the fight, the fact that Forrest buckled him and then mounted him and was basically on the offensive with dominant positions the entire time while Rampage was on the defensive the entire time is basically how I would score a 10-8 round. Keyword here is dominant position because you could look at the Jake Shields-Jason Mayhem Miller fight and see how some of those rounds could be misconstrued as 10-8 rounds since Miller basically did most of the work in the round while Miller was on the defensive, however, in many instances in that fight Shields was never in a truly dominant position and Miller was able to gain positions that kept him only receiving minimal damage so while it was dominant from the standpoint that Shields was able to keep his opponent at bay, he was never in a spot to finish the fight. So, without going in circles with my opinions I believe to constitute a 10-8 round a fighter must be in positions that allow them to finish their opponent and their opponent should basically be in survival mode the whole or great amount of the round. I strongly disagree though that a simple knock down should mean that the fight should be scored a 10-8 round because we all know that flash KO's and flash knockdowns happen all the time from a fighter that has been put in peril the entire round.
So MMA4Real community....what say you?
**We all understand that Fightmetric is prone to error due to the nature of humans entering the data. However, it is a good tool to use to get a snapshot of fights as a whole.