"Winning the contest" vs. "Winning the fight"

MMAPlayground.com » MMA General » UFC Forum » "Winning the contest" vs. "Winning the fight"
1/22/09 6:25:44PM
I just watched the Siver vs. Mohr fight, and I thought Joe Rogan made an interesting distinction between "winning the contest" and "winning the fight". The link is below if you want to listen to it- it starts when there's about 3:20 left in round 3. He says this:

"Often there's a winner of the fight and then there's a winner of the contest. And we see that in fights like Ryo Chonan vs. Brad Blackburn... Brad clearly won the first two rounds, but Ryo kicked the crap out of him in the third round. Now, if you were looking at that as a street fight, you gotta say Ryo Chonan won that fight. When they pulled him off of him, Ryo was beating Brad up, so he should have won the fight. But if you look at it as a contest, well Brad Blackburn won 2 out of 3 rounds, so in the sport, that is who won the contest. But the fight was won by Ryo Chonan."

I think some people feel the Hendo/ Franklin fight went down this way. I've heard a lot of people say that Franklin finished stronger and if the fight had kept going he would have won, or if it would have been judged with a heavier emphasis on who was winning at the end, then Franklin would have gotten the W.

What do you think about the fact that the rules allow for this kind of thing to happen? If the winner of the fight (by Joe's definition) does not always win the contest, should the scoring system be changed?

I find myself wondering if the scoring system the UFC has is meant to add legitimacy to MMA as a sport, and deemphasize the aspects of it that make it distasteful to the general public. As long as the bout is judged based on a highly structured point system (even if it's flawed) and not based on who got the crap kicked out of them the worst, it's easier to present MMA as "just like any other sport," downplay the violence involved, and probably what's most important for the UFC's image: be able to back up the claim that the primary focus of MMA is the competition (like Randy Couture always says, at least for himself) and not some kind of bloodlust.

Any thoughts on this? I know other organizations score bouts differently. Should the UFC change anything, or is it best left like this?

Mohr vs. Siver UFC 93 Prelim
1/22/09 6:47:45PM
There are too many unknowns to say who won the fight

One could argue that if Blackburn had been allowed to carry the momentum from the first round without giving chonan a minute break between rounds, he would've won the fight.

Interesting comment by Rogan
1/22/09 9:07:08PM
so according to rogan franklin won the fight

but dan won the contest

i agree
1/22/09 9:31:12PM
Its an interesting point. I notice sometimes the fighter who won the last round gets the decision unjustly. So in that sense, sometimes winning the fight helps you win the contest.
1/22/09 9:35:04PM
Basically Joe wants it scored like they do in Japan. Who was closest to finishing the fight. I like the idea of moving away from scoring by round and scoring the overall fight in general, but--and it's a big but--it leaves a lot of interpretation to the judges, maybe too much.
1/22/09 9:53:31PM
The .5 point system needs to come into effect.
1/22/09 10:50:24PM

Posted by Wolfenstein

Basically Joe wants it scored like they do in Japan. Who was closest to finishing the fight. I like the idea of moving away from scoring by round and scoring the overall fight in general, but--and it's a big but--it leaves a lot of interpretation to the judges, maybe too much.

Yeah that system seems to make the most sense, as long as you got judges that really understand all aspects of the fight game. It does make it more subjective, but I think it's pretty bad to have a system in place that sometimes doesn't give the W to the winner. But maybe it's naive to think there wouldn't be just as many controversial decisions this way.

I guess my main problem with this is that it's another one of those things that makes UFC matches less like real fights.
1/23/09 12:51:05AM
I've said it many times before over the past decade and I'll say it again.

Non-title fights should be 4 4 minute rounds with a sudden death 5th round if tied.

Title fights should be 6 4 minute rounds with a sudden death 7th if tied.

Less cut stoppages due to more ability for cut-men to work the cuts, less stand-ups due to shorter rounds and referees making the bottom fighter have to get up, and an exciting sudden death round in close fights. That and the fight lengths wouldn't average any longer than they currently do. Can someone give me an amen?
1/23/09 2:29:10PM
You have a point about the cuts, but shorter rounds would mean there's less time to work for subs. It always sucks to see a guy who's about to get it but the round ends before he can. I prefer rules that allow the contest to stay closer to what an actual fight would be like, so to me the 10 minute first round in Pride makes more sense from that perspective. From an entertainment perspective though, the shorter rounds do make it a lot more energetic.
1/23/09 6:31:53PM
winning the contest IS winning the fight. Joe used a key phrase: "street fight... MMA is far from a street fight and the winner is chosen in a far diffrent way. The end.

The old pride judging was BS. Thats how they picked Henderson and Rampage over Murilo Rua and many other obviously wrong choices. Its got more to do with judging the entertainment rather than judging the fight.

Plus the 10 point must system works extremely well with mma. Its the judges who need revamping.

1/23/09 9:06:06PM
i don;t agree with Joe's logic. even if in the 3rd round one guy came back from losing the 1st 2 and started to dominate the 3rd, you can't say he would have won "the fight" because of the breaks between rounds. in a "street fight" there aren't rounds, so therefore you can't say that because someone is winning just as the time comes to an end it means he would have won the fight because in a street fight he would have never received a break in between rounds. and that is why this is a sport and not a fight. i see where Jo was trying to go, but there are too many other facotrs he overlooked that make his logic flawed.
1/23/09 10:10:38PM
Joe might have been " winngin the contest" in his head but the WEED was "winning the fight" in reality.
1/23/09 10:42:44PM
I think there is another thing that has to be considered. Now that MMA is getting bigger, the stakess are getting higher. The UFC will only keep so many "entertaining" fighters around. Lytle comes to mind. If a fighter loses one too many fights, he is gone. With the amount of money rolling in, are you going to go for the finish, knowing you might get caught, when you already know you won the contest?

Related Topics