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Using video or instant replay to decide a critical element of a mixed martial arts fight is an interesting idea, but it’s not necessary. Let the referees make their decisions, rightly or wrongly, and live with it.

UFC president Dana White indicated following UFC 142 that video replay would be considered in the wake of the controversial decision made by referee Mario Yamasaki to disqualify Erick Silva following his apparent victory over Carlo Prater for illegal strikes to the back of the head.

Yamasaki, a veteran referee, made the decision on the spur of the moment, and afterward he was criticized by announcer Joe Rogan. White also tweeted that he thought Yamasaki made the wrong call and later paid Silva his win bonus.

Effectively, Yamasaki has been thrown under the bus for what he believed to be the right call.

If you use video replay, based on how it’s implemented in other sports, a call can only be overturned based on conclusive evidence. And it’s the referee who normally overturns it, although some sports go to a command central, which is an independent board that makes the final ruling.

In this case, a video replay would have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Silva did not, in fact, hit Prater in the back of the head and thus overturn his disqualification. It appeared that Silva hit Prater at least once and possibly two or three times -- even Rogan, an educated and respected analyst in MMA, could not say for sure. So, based on that result, would the evidence have been conclusive enough to overturn Yamasaki’s decision? No.

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Post #1   1/19/12 11:28:05AM   

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For the record, I do not like Mario any less after the Silva and Prater fight. He is human and he was the closest man to the action and he had to make a decision in a split second without the advantages of a replay. And like the article suggests, these legal and illegal strikes are not conclusive. Some of them were borderline strikes. This is not Football whereby if a player crosses the boundary line, then he is deemed out of bounce. This is MMA whereby a strike can partially be legal and illegal at the same time.>>>> I'm sure the regulations have a specific definition of what is legal and illegal but something tells me if we are to use Instant Replay, we will have to revisit the rules and make them more conclusive.

Let me play devil's advocate and provide you with 2 scenarios.

Strike 1 - The majority or the bulk of the fist and glove is withing legal standard but a small portion lands on what is considered illegal.

Strike 2 - The majority or the bulk of the fist and glove is within illegal standard but a small portion lands on what is considered legal.

For those of you who know the rules, please tell me how we can distinguish between the two strikes and what would be the appropriate calls for them?

I'm not trying to start a fight - just merely digging at the issue and from reading this article, I retract what I said about Instant Replay and I feel maybe we should not use it in MMA.

Post #2   1/19/12 12:03:14PM   

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This guys argues that instant replay could still result in a bad decision. OK, but I'll take 99% accuracy over 95% any day of the week. Who wouldn't? I realize there isn't a simple solution, but it doesn't mean that options shouldn't be explored. I've said for a long time that instant replay would only work if you limit its use to particular scenarios. I wonder if he'd change his tune if a referee's blunder cost him half of his paycheck or added a blemish to his resume.

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Post #3   1/19/12 12:03:50PM   

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Posted by KungFuMaster

For the record, I do not like Mario any less after the Silva and Prater fight. He is human and he was the closest man to the action and he had to make a decision in a split second without the advantages of a replay. And like the article suggests, these legal and illegal strikes are not conclusive. Some of them were borderline strikes. This is not Football whereby if a player crosses the boundary line, then he is deemed out of bounce. This is MMA whereby a strike can partially be legal and illegal at the same time.>>>> I'm sure the regulations have a specific definition of what is legal and illegal but something tells me if we are to use Instant Replay, we will have to revisit the rules and make them more conclusive.

Let me play devil's advocate and provide you with 2 scenarios.

Strike 1 - The majority or the bulk of the fist and glove is withing legal standard but a small portion lands on what is considered illegal.

Strike 2 - The majority or the bulk of the fist and glove is within illegal standard but a small portion lands on what is considered legal.

For those of you who know the rules, please tell me how we can distinguish between the two strikes and what would be the appropriate calls for them?

I'm not trying to start a fight - just merely digging at the issue and from reading this article, I retract what I said about Instant Replay and I feel maybe we should not use it in MMA.



While the verbiage in the rules doesn't state it exactly like your scenario, I believe that most refs see any substantial amount of the fist in that area to be illegal. That, of coarse, is subjective...as many MMA rules are. That's not my major beef though.

It's true that we all make mistakes, but there are a couple of things that Mario did that I have a problem with. First, he didn't follow proper protocol for addressing a foul...which resulted in the improper ruling of a DQ. There's no excuse for this.

The second issue is the precedent that's been set by Mr. Yamasaki and other refs for several years in regards to what should be called a foul. Someone will undoubtedly say, but 1 strike to the back of the head is too many. Is it? Sure, I'd prefer none, but it happens every single event, without fail. The scenario that we saw in Silva/Prater has been played out hundreds of times in the UFC, let alone all of MMA. An inadvertent shot or two to the back of the head in a finishing flurry is in the nature of fighting and has never been scrutinized to that extent by Mario before...so why now? Only he can answer that...in the mean time, he treated Silva differently than the other fighters that he has reffed. I can't get on board with that.

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Post #4   1/19/12 12:26:35PM   

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I think the knee is what ended the fight.

Post #5   1/19/12 12:49:37PM   

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Posted by grappler0000


Posted by KungFuMaster

For the record, I do not like Mario any less after the Silva and Prater fight. He is human and he was the closest man to the action and he had to make a decision in a split second without the advantages of a replay. And like the article suggests, these legal and illegal strikes are not conclusive. Some of them were borderline strikes. This is not Football whereby if a player crosses the boundary line, then he is deemed out of bounce. This is MMA whereby a strike can partially be legal and illegal at the same time.>>>> I'm sure the regulations have a specific definition of what is legal and illegal but something tells me if we are to use Instant Replay, we will have to revisit the rules and make them more conclusive.

Let me play devil's advocate and provide you with 2 scenarios.

Strike 1 - The majority or the bulk of the fist and glove is withing legal standard but a small portion lands on what is considered illegal.

Strike 2 - The majority or the bulk of the fist and glove is within illegal standard but a small portion lands on what is considered legal.

For those of you who know the rules, please tell me how we can distinguish between the two strikes and what would be the appropriate calls for them?

I'm not trying to start a fight - just merely digging at the issue and from reading this article, I retract what I said about Instant Replay and I feel maybe we should not use it in MMA.



While the verbiage in the rules doesn't state it exactly like your scenario, I believe that most refs see any substantial amount of the fist in that area to be illegal. That, of coarse, is subjective...as many MMA rules are. That's not my major beef though.

It's true that we all make mistakes, but there are a couple of things that Mario did that I have a problem with. First, he didn't follow proper protocol for addressing a foul...which resulted in the improper ruling of a DQ. There's no excuse for this.

The second issue is the precedent that's been set by Mr. Yamasaki and other refs for several years in regards to what should be called a foul. Someone will undoubtedly say, but 1 strike to the back of the head is too many. Is it? Sure, I'd prefer none, but it happens every single event, without fail. The scenario that we saw in Silva/Prater has been played out hundreds of times in the UFC, let alone all of MMA. An inadvertent shot or two to the back of the head in a finishing flurry is in the nature of fighting and has never been scrutinized to that extent by Mario before...so why now? Only he can answer that...in the mean time, he treated Silva differently than the other fighters that he has reffed. I can't get on board with that.



I think you and Warglory already beat the Yamasaki ordeal to death and we'll leave it at that...

Regarding the standard which has been set by Yamasaki and other refs, I can only assume the athletic's commission or whatever associations these refs belong to - have made a push for more intervention and prevention of fighters' injuries which will ultimately lead to more earlier stoppages and penalties - which I believe is the trend for the past year.

Regarding instant replay: I cannot jump on board for mainly this reason.

A play in Football or other short play sports will last a few seconds. MMA and other extended play sports will have a play lasting as long as minutes whereby cardio becomes a significant factor in winning. If we were to use Instant Replays in MMA, this will undoubtedly affect fighters's performances and change the natural order of outcomes. An exhausted fighter who was in the brink of defeat will receive an extended rest and could come back from behind to win or survive - which most likely would not have been the case if the fight progressed without interruption.

IMO, we simply need to accept rulings by the refs in MMA as we do in most other sports.

Last edited 1/19/12 1:30PM server time by KungFuMaster
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Post #6   1/19/12 1:27:05PM   

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Posted by KungFuMaster

Regarding the standard which has been set by Yamasaki and other refs, I can only assume the athletic's commission or whatever associations these refs belong to - have made a push for more intervention and prevention of fighters' injuries which will ultimately lead to more earlier stoppages and penalties - which I believe is the trend for the past year.

Regarding instant replay: I cannot jump on board for mainly this reason.

A play in Football or other short play sports will last a few seconds. MMA and other extended play sports will have a play lasting as long as minutes whereby cardio becomes a significant factor in winning. If we were to use Instant Replays in MMA, this will undoubtedly affect fighters's performances and change the natural order of outcomes. An exhausted fighter who was in the brink of defeat will receive an extended rest and could come back from behind to win or survive - which most likely would not have been the case if the fight progressed without interruption.

IMO, we simply need to accept rulings by the refs in MMA as we do in most other sports.



If Mario has something to say regarding his biased treatment of Silva, I'm willing to listen. In the mean time, if your assumption is correct, we'll see Mario making similar calls in future bouts. I have a feeling that's not gonna be the case though.

I think you're being too closed minded regarding instant replay. One of the reasons why I suggest specific rules for when instant replay can be used, is so that it doesn't get abused like you described. Even if you only limit it to instances resulting in an end to a fight, it's a step forward...and that would never impede the momentum of a fight.

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Post #7   1/19/12 1:46:31PM   

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Posted by grappler0000


Posted by KungFuMaster

Regarding the standard which has been set by Yamasaki and other refs, I can only assume the athletic's commission or whatever associations these refs belong to - have made a push for more intervention and prevention of fighters' injuries which will ultimately lead to more earlier stoppages and penalties - which I believe is the trend for the past year.

Regarding instant replay: I cannot jump on board for mainly this reason.

A play in Football or other short play sports will last a few seconds. MMA and other extended play sports will have a play lasting as long as minutes whereby cardio becomes a significant factor in winning. If we were to use Instant Replays in MMA, this will undoubtedly affect fighters's performances and change the natural order of outcomes. An exhausted fighter who was in the brink of defeat will receive an extended rest and could come back from behind to win or survive - which most likely would not have been the case if the fight progressed without interruption.

IMO, we simply need to accept rulings by the refs in MMA as we do in most other sports.



If Mario has something to say regarding his biased treatment of Silva, I'm willing to listen. In the mean time, if your assumption is correct, we'll see Mario making similar calls in future bouts. I have a feeling that's not gonna be the case though.

I think you're being too closed minded regarding instant replay. One of the reasons why I suggest specific rules for when instant replay can be used, is so that it doesn't get abused like you described. Even if you only limit it to instances resulting in an end to a fight, it's a step forward...and that would never impede the momentum of a fight.



I see a lot of issues that come with using instant replay.

Let's do as you propose and limit its use in the instances of fights coming to an end. Let's use this on the Silva vs Prater fight.

Fight ends.
Mario intervenes and checks the replay and for the sake of argument let's say Mario sees two illegal strikes thrown prior to Prater not defending himself intelligently.

What should the verdict be?

Post #8   1/19/12 2:04:12PM   

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Posted by KungFuMaster

I see a lot of issues that come with using instant replay.

Let's do as you propose and limit its use in the instances of fights coming to an end. Let's use this on the Silva vs Prater fight.

Fight ends.
Mario intervenes and checks the replay and for the sake of argument let's say Mario sees two illegal strikes thrown prior to Prater not defending himself intelligently.

What should the verdict be?




I'll start by saying that my suggestion was just that...it's not necessarily the best answer, but I think it's better than the status quo. With that said, there's no reason to over-analyze the situation. Mario would use the same judgement he always does, but would have the benefit of possibly seeing things more clearly. You have to either discuss the rules regarding fouls or discuss instant replay. When you do both at the same time, you muddy the waters.

Also, there's more to the verdict than that. Even if he were to still call a foul after watching the replay, there are procedures that he would need to follow before declaring a DQ. Again, that's something he failed to do.

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Post #9   1/19/12 2:20:17PM   

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I'm against instant replay in all sports. The refs, officials, and umpires are there to do a job and the human element is a part of all things sport. Let them make the calls on the field, in the cage, wherever, and then we can play Monday morning quarterback and have something to say to the weird guy from IT, or the customer that normally creeps you out, etc.

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Post #10   1/19/12 2:39:34PM   

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Posted by KungFuMaster

I see a lot of issues that come with using instant replay.

Let's do as you propose and limit its use in the instances of fights coming to an end. Let's use this on the Silva vs Prater fight.

Fight ends.
Mario intervenes and checks the replay and for the sake of argument let's say Mario sees two illegal strikes thrown prior to Prater not defending himself intelligently.

What should the verdict be?




i say the in-cage ref shouldnt be involved in looking at the replays. have the other 2 referees take a look at it (im pretty sure 3 are assigned every fight card) and let them come to a conclusion.

in the NHL, im fairly positive that the on ice referee doesnt see replays. he gets word from the "war room" in Toronto that has many people looking at all angles of the play and then relays it back to the ref to make the official call.

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Post #11   1/19/12 2:41:27PM   

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Even when replay is used mistakes are made because it's still a judgement call by whoever is looking at the monitor. A good example is the game between the Packers and Giants where Jennings clearly fumbled but even after a replay the officials ruled Jennings down(don't get me wrong I loved that gift).
Here's the math behind my point:
Judgement call + wasting extra time = shitty.

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Post #12   1/19/12 2:46:29PM   

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Posted by cowcatcher

Even when replay is used mistakes are made because it's still a judgement call by whoever is looking at the monitor. A good example is the game between the Packers and Giants where Jennings clearly fumbled but even after a replay the officials ruled Jennings down(don't get me wrong I loved that gift).
Here's the math behind my point:
Judgement call + wasting extra time = shitty.



Here's my opinion on that. There's nothing you can do that will result in 100% accuracy, but if taking a minute to review some tape takes it from 95% to 99% accuracy, it was worth the time. And if you limit its usage, it will rarely come into play, so there will rarely be time spent using IR. If we were talking amateur sports, I wouldn't be as passionate about it, but when a guy's livelihood is on the line, I think it deserves consideration.

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Post #13   1/19/12 2:54:28PM   

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Posted by cowcatcher

I'm against instant replay in all sports. The refs, officials, and umpires are there to do a job and the human element is a part of all things sport. Let them make the calls on the field, in the cage, wherever, and then we can play Monday morning quarterback and have something to say to the weird guy from IT, or the customer that normally creeps you out, etc.



This is the most powerful thing I have heard on the Playground. We are human, born of imperfection....and that which we create are subjected to being human as well.

I motion that you get a badge for simply saying what you said.

Post #14   1/19/12 2:55:17PM   

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Posted by grappler0000


Posted by cowcatcher

Even when replay is used mistakes are made because it's still a judgement call by whoever is looking at the monitor. A good example is the game between the Packers and Giants where Jennings clearly fumbled but even after a replay the officials ruled Jennings down(don't get me wrong I loved that gift).
Here's the math behind my point:
Judgement call + wasting extra time = shitty.



Here's my opinion on that. There's nothing you can do that will result in 100% accuracy, but if taking a minute to review some tape takes it from 95% to 99% accuracy, it was worth the time. And if you limit its usage, it will rarely come into play, so there will rarely be time spent using IR. If we were talking amateur sports, I wouldn't be as passionate about it, but when a guy's livelihood is on the line, I think it deserves consideration.



Instant replay will backfire on what you already deemed as appropriate.

You said finishing flurries have a tendency of being misplaced and will likely hit fighters in illegal spots. Imagine a corner challenging for instant replay when this happens. Many of what could have been finishes will turn into DQs because of instant replay.

The human element is not perfect and to help you cross over to our side, I have this one quote I have learned and cherished from my music professor.

"I don't want it to sound perfect. If I wanted that, I will have a computer play it for me. " - Professor Anna Hambre.

Last edited 1/19/12 3:10PM server time by KungFuMaster
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Post #15   1/19/12 3:09:14PM   
 
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