Dan Hardy Believes MMA Judges Should Be Required to Explain Scoring Following Controversial UFC Decision

Dan Hardy wants to see judges in the United States openly discuss their scoring after Kai Kara-France's shocking split decision loss on Saturday night

Dan Hardy
Courtesy of @danhardymma and @UFCNews on Twitter

Dan Hardy believes combat sports judges should be required to explain their scoring, especially when they are seen as controversial by the general consensus. 

MMA judging has been under scrutiny for years, yet nothing seems to change and we’re constantly given new examples as to why the system for scoring is so clearly broken. Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas gave us yet another one as No. 3 ranked contender Kai Kara-France was on the losing end of a split decision against top-ten contender Amir Albazi.

Kara-France out-struck his opponent in all five rounds, landing 56 more significant strikes than his opposition during the 25-minute affair. Despite the glaring statistic, two judges scored the fight in favor of Albazi based on his six minutes of control time with little offense provided. 

Knowing that a change in the way fights are scored is highly unlikely, fighters are, at the very least, calling for judges to explain their decisions. Speaking with Submission Radio, Dan Hardy revealed that the practice is commonplace in Europe and believes it would go a long way to understand what exactly judges are looking for and why they chose to go against the grain when scoring certain contests that seem relatively clear to everyone else. 

“[What] I’d like to see is judges be able to stand in front of the public and make good reasoning for why they made those decisions,” Hardy said. “The judges that I know that work in the European scene, they’ll sit down and tell you exactly why they scored every round and they’ll sit down after the events and discuss it amongst themselves as well.

“But we had the same thing in boxing the other week. There was a lot of controversy around the Lomachenko-Haney scoring. And same thing again, the judge just kind of, they get in their car, they drive home and the whole industry is left kind of shaken by this one person’s decision who then isn’t held in any way… And I’m not saying held accountable. It’s a hard job to do. 

“But what you do want is for people to explain the decisions that they make. Especially when thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes, and big opportunities are on the line.”

There Are Far Too Many Examples of Controversial Decision Across MMA and Boxing

Kai Kara-France is said to have lost $100,000 due to the split decision defeat, money that could be life-changing for him and his family. 

Of course, this is far from the first time something like this has happened in the sport. One of the more blatant scoring blunders came at UFC 282 in December when Liverpudlian Paddy Pimblett met Jared ‘Flash’ Gordon in the evening’s co-main event. Going the distance, fans and fighters had Gordon undoubtedly winning the fight. However, all three judges saw it differently, handing ‘The Baddy’ a unanimous decision win. A decision that earned the ire of virtually everyone in the industry, including Joe Rogan and Nate Diaz. The bout was even dubbed MMA Junkie’s 2022 Robbery of the Year.

And the problem is not exclusive to mixed martial arts. Professional boxing star Devin Haney was handed a unanimous decision win against Vasiliy Lomachenko last month despite virtually everyone on social media and in the arena, including the announcers, having the bout going to ‘Loma’ by a fairly substantial margin. 

Published on June 5, 2023 at 6:53 pm
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