Rules; should they be changed?
Heading back to UFC 104, main-event Machida versus Shogun for the Light-heavyweight championship of the world. Machida coming in as the heavy favorite, looking untouchable inside the cage, while Shogun looking nothing close to his former superstar status he had in Pride.
Machida came out like himself taking the first round lading the only real blow of the round with a strong knee to the body. It was the first time though Machida looked human, having numerous shots landed on him by Shogun, even Rogan and Goldie thought Shogun may have stolen the round. Second round was similar but more decisive for Machida who by North American MMA rules would be up 20-18. Again the third round not much different from the first 2 rounds, a great tactical battle of true Material Arts. With it being a championship fight there was going to be 2 more rounds, but by the scorecards Machida pretty much had it wrapped up 30-27 being the winner of the first 3 rounds. Unlike the first 3 round Machida wasn't as elusive as he normally is, rather Shogun had him figured out and began to pick him apart with perfectly timed leg kicks, body kicks and punches. Heading into the finally round the fight was 39-37 and again by North American MMA scoring standards Rua would need to pull off a 10-8 round of finish Machida in order to force a draw or win. Shogun wasn't able to pull off the 10-8 or finish but he did get the better of Machida leaving him cut and showing a side of Machida we've never seen. It appeared that Shogun of old was back! Sadly though it wasn't enough and Machida was awarded the victory after the hard fought battle. Many people watching the fight felt that Shogun had been screwed and was in fact the winner of the fight, he looked untouched, while Machida on the other hand look beaten, tired and in no shape to continue. Had someone just tuned in they would have clearly though Shogun was the victor of the 2.
All 3 judges scored the fight 48-47 allowing Macida to retain the title now had this fight taken place in Japan we would have a new champion. The Japanese have a scoring system strictly for MMA, while North America still yet to adapt an MMA scoring system and use the boxing system which IMO. has failed us many times. They award the winner of the fight to whom did more overall damage throughout the entire fight, less value on take downs, more points for submission attempts and the fighter that looks fresher come the end of the fight while be awarded the winner. Generally how most people would look at a fight and rightfully so.
I think this is a huge issue in MMA that needs to be taken into consideration if the sport ever expects to truly become main stream and accepted in all states/provinces. Boxing and MMA are two different sports that need to be judged differently with there being so many different aspects to them. Again this is only one scenario that judging have played a major factor into the finally result. The fight is also debatable to who won each round.