UFC Reviews Judge's Performance, Keeps Review Internal

Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2013

July 11, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; UFC president Dana White looks at his cell phone before the fight between Karlos Vemola and Francis Carmont during the middleweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Scoring MMA fights is a subjective exercise. That's the reason each fight uses three judges instead of one, and it's the reason hordes of fans regularly disagree with those who actually decide the outcome of a match.

Not everyone will agree on who should get the nod in a particularly close round or fight, but sometimes it is clear enough who deserves it. Sometimes there is no margin for interpretation. 

It is situations when a fighter clearly triumphs over his opponent and comes out on the losing end of a score card that really draws the ire of MMA fans—and the ire of UFC president Dana White.

Though UFC on Fuel TV 7 didn't feature any robberies, there were some scores that were outright mind-blowing—specifically, judge Aaron Chatfield's belief that Che Mills got the better of Matt Riddle. Luckily, Chatfield's colleagues saw the action for Riddle and the right guy was given the victory.

In response to the split decision, White was his usual outspoken self when talking to MMA Junkie. "If you give Che Mills the f---ing fight, I don't even know what to say to you," he said. "What the f--- do you even say to that guy? 'See you?' I hope that's what's going to be said."

White, however, explained that he doesn't interfere in any judging processes in locations where commissions are in place or otherwise. Judging for non-commissioned events, like UFC on Fuel TV 7, falls to Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner, the former executive director for the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

"I've already talked with a judge, and I met with all the officials after the fights," noted Ratner.

Whether or not that talk included White's suggested "see you [later]" is unknown, as the discussions will remain private. "We'll do some stuff internally, but we don't talk about that to the public," Ratner explained.

Hopefully these internal talks will be enough to reduce the number of head-scratching calls made by judges in upcoming events. It seems doubtful bad decisions will ever be eliminated outright, but we can still hope for improvement.