Report: ABC to vote on changes to MMA judging criteria at August 1 convention

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief


The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) is going to be reviewing and voting on whether to adopt new language for judging criteria in MMA, according to a report from, which would encourage more use of 10-8 and 10-7 scores.

The new language was passed earlier this year by the MMA Rules and Regulations Committee, headed up by former Bellator announcer Sean Wheelock, and the ABC will vote on the proposed changes during their convention on August 1 in Las Vegas. The new language would then go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2017, if passed.

Here’s the full document they’ll be voting on next month:

Proposed MMA judging criteria

Penick’s Analysis: These are very good, important changes proposed, and if widely adopted and implemented we’ll see some very different things from fighters and judges in the future. As it stands, there’s been such inconsistent and infrequent use of the 10-8 score that often there’s a wide gulf between types of rounds that wind up with the same 10-9 score. That’s especially galling when in fights where one fighter may edge out two rounds but get blown out in a third; those fights should stand as draws rather than a win for a fighter who came closest to actually getting stopped in a fight. It’s still not going to fix judging as a whole, but drilling in new definitions and new criteria to judges and informing fighters on what’s going to be scored moving forward will be a big step forward for the sport.

[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]

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