MMA judging. It never fails to be a controversial topic, mostly because it hasn't improved one iota since the sport started taking a mainstream foothold in the last decade.
If anything, it's gotten much worse, and there doesn't appear to be an end in sight. Viable solutions would have to start with the people in charge of running the athletic commissions, and they're either willfully or ignorantly turning a blind eye to the problem.
Keith Kizer—the man in charge of nominating judges for major UFC and boxing fights in Nevada—doesn't appear to have a real problem with some of the idiotic decisions handed down by his own hand-selected people over the past few years.
Nothing is being done about horrific judging, but Joe Rogan has the perfect solution for the problem:
I think they should fire judges that suck. I don't understand how someone can keep their job over and over again while screwing up over and over. What do you call that exactly? Extreme incompetence. How does someone judge any sort of combat sport without at least a passing interest in the sport?
If you pulled aside, and I don't want to name any names, but if you pulled aside some of those judges from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, that has notoriously had horrific scoring, and started asking them about fighters that aren't fighting in the UFC, would they know anything about them? Would they know anything about who the top judo guy is? Would they even know anything about Gilbert Melendez and how good he is?
This, to be perfectly honest, is the best solution to the judging issues that are plaguing the sport. Conduct quarterly performance reviews for all judges currently licensed under your commission.
Take a hard look at the scores they handed out and compare those to the scores handed out by a wide spectrum of respected media. Compare the scores to the hard data FightMetric provides.
If a judge is consistently differing from the scores accepted as the popular norm, it's time for them to find a profession they aren't terrible at. As Rogan says, you fire them and replace them with someone else.