“Never leave it in the hands of the judges” is etched above a doorway at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas where The Ultimate Fighter reality series is filmed. It’s there to serve as motivation to fighters to finish their opponents, but stems from a problem in mixed martial arts: the judging.
The saying is commonly used by fans, promoters and athletes, but what it really means is that the judges are too incompetent to render a rightful decision, so don’t let them have the opportunity to make a bad one.
UFC middleweight Michael Bisping would like to hold judges accountable for their scoring.
“Sometimes a fight happens and I look at it and I think clearly this guy won and all the judges will give it to that guy. But one judge will give it to the other guy, maybe 30-27. I think that judge should be pulled to one side at a hearing of some sort and told to explain why he gave it to that guy, break it down round by round,” said Bisping during a recent question and answer session in Manchester, England.
“Make him watch the fight and say, why on Earth did you score it for that guy because he clearly lost. So why did you do it?” added the Englishman. “He should be held accountable is what I’m saying. If he can’t back up why he scored it that way then he shouldn’t be a judge anymore.”
Bisping (24-5) has been involved in some close decisions, perhaps even controversial ones. His losses to Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva and Rashad Evans were closely contested bouts that he ended up on the losing side of the judges’ scorecards. But Bisping isn’t talking about close fights that don’t go a fighter’s way. He’s talking about bad decisions.
“Anytime that it’s a close fight, you can’t be bitter about it. The guy did a good job, regardless of who the opponent is, I’m saying, and if the judges felt it went that way, it went that way. You’ve just got to get on with it. There’s no point in crying about it,” he said.