Ariel Helwani Reiterated Interest In Open Scoring After UFC Vegas 74, Demands Transparency From Judges

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani believes something needs to be changed after the controversial split decision in the UFC Vegas 74 main event.

Ariel Helwani
Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (Image via YouTube @MMAFightingonSBN)

Ariel Helwani discussed possible changes that can be made after another controversial decision in the UFC. 

On June 3, UFC Vegas 74 ended with controversy as Amir Albazi was awarded a split decision against Kai Kara-France. Although most of the five rounds were close, most people thought Kara-France deserved to have his hands raised. As usual, the questionable judge’s decision led to social media backlash and demands for change. 

During the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani had a lot to say about the UFC Vegas 74 main event. He used the controversial decision to reiterate his interest in open scoring: 

“I’ll tell you what could’ve helped on Saturday. Open f*cking scoring, that could’ve helped on Saturday. I’ll tell ya, if Kai Kara-France knew he was down, maybe he does thing a little differently, I don’t know. I’ll tell ya, if he found out Sal D’Amato gave Albazi the fourth, maybe he does something different.”

For those that don’t know, open scoring entails the judge’s scorecards being revealed to everyone after each round. As a result, fighters and coaches would be able to make late adjustments to secure a finish if needed. 

Ariel Helwani believes judges should have to explain their scorecards after events

There have been changes to the MMA scoring criteria in the past, but controversial decisions continue to aggravate fans and fighters. A primary reason for the frustration comes from the lack of reasons behind some judges’ decisions. During the same episode of The MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani discussed the situation by saying: 

“The only thing that I feel like I could actually suggest right now is this idea of transparency, this idea of accountability, this idea of explanation. Here’s the problem, and here’s the thing I’m getting quite sick of, every single weekend it seems there’s a controversial call, and it’s not always at the top of the card, so we don’t always pay this much attention.”

Helwani continued by saying: 

“We sit here, and we whine, and we complain, and we talk about what should change and what’s broken and what’s rigged and what’s not. Ultimately, we’re just spinning our wheels, nothing is going to change, nothing is being done to change… Why is it that we do not hear from these men and women who are the officials on Saturday night, on Sunday, on Monday, to at least explain to us what they were thinking.”

Fighters are losing more than momentum and ranking spots with controversial decisions. They are also missing out on half their pay based on the win bonuses implemented in the UFC. Only time will tell if the state commissions can establish a change to potentially decrease the amount of confusion.

Published on June 6, 2023 at 12:02 am
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