An In-Depth Look at The Scoring Of Guida Vs Sanchez
The subject of judges scoring has come up thousands of times. Over the years the current Unified Rules of MMA scoring system has been by far the most scrutinized topic of MMA.
Recently, the issue has come back under the microscope. The only difference being that this time people are demanding a change.
The reason for the recent revival of the scoring issue comes due to what some believe to be a controversial decision at "The Ultimate Fighter Finale 9". The main event saw Clay Guida and Diego Sanchez in what may very well be a "Fight of The Year" candidate.
Early on Sanchez dominated, and even came close to finishing the Guida the "Energizer Bunny of MMA" a couple of times.
The first round easily went to Diego due to his dominance. He had take downs, near finishes, and plenty of aggressiveness. The question being asked, "Was that a 10-9 round or 10-8?".
Under the UFC scoring system, a round is scored on effective striking, grappling, aggressiveness, and octagon control. This is combined with the 10 point must system, where the round winner must receive 10 points, the opponent 9 or less.
Unfortunately, nothing is divulged on television on the criteria of what earns an 8 point round.
My best guess would be dominance. If somebody is absolutely dominated or mounts no effective offence, they deserve an 8.
The second round many considered to have gone to Guida. He seemingly found a somewhat effective strategy on how to contain Diego "The Nightmare" Sanchez.
Guida was able to take Sanchez to the mat and control much of the round. The controversy here being that it seemed like Diego, although on his back, mounted more of an offense with his relentless barrage of elbows.
Clay looked better in this round and was very aggressive, but Diego did much more damage. The blood all over Sanchez would prove to be evidence of this. That blood belonged to Guida.
A lot of people would have scored it an equal 18-18. Reason being that a lot of people, including some judges, won't give out an 8 point round unless a guy pulls a Kalib Starnes and just runs the entire round.
The third round is what really makes this bout a Fight of The Year candidate. Both men slugged it out and both seemed to mount an equal amount of offense. In most minds this round was a draw.
Here's what confuses many people. Due to the introduction to the judging criteria given by Mike Goldberg at the beginning of each broadcast; we assume a 10-10 round can not be given.
That is false.
Take a look at fights such as BJ Penn VS Caol Uno, or Ian Freeman VS Kevin Randleman. 10-10 rounds were given out. Such a scoring leads to draws.
Here are the three official scorecards:
Judge One- 29-28 Guida
Judge Two- 29-27 Sanchez
Judge Three- 29 28 Sanchez
Take a look at Judge Two. That judge used a 10-10 to score one of the rounds, presumably round three. That's the only way to come up with a score like that.
I assume he scored the rounds 10-8, 9-10, 10-10, in favor of Sanchez.
Had Judge Three been kind to Clay, he would have ended up with a score of 28-28. Under the Unified Rules of MMA that UFC incorporates, if all three judges show different results, the fight is a draw.
There would have been one judge for Sanchez, one for Guida, and one scoring a Draw.
Never has this happened in the UFC.
So what was the right choice? Should this fight have been scored a Draw? Was there a clear and evident winner?
Before I end this article, I must give you my scorecard and my reasoning.
I scored the fight 29-27 Sanchez. I scored the first round 10-8 Sanchez. He showed clear dominance on the feet, and a couple of times put his opponent in a position that would have left a lesser fighter pleading with the referee to stop it.
The second round I gave a 10-9 for Guida.
Clay got the early takedown and dominated the round. He was on top, and although he ate multiple elbows, he was in control and stifled any kind of offense Diego had.
For the third round, I gave out a 10-10.
I thought Clay looked great on his feet and won the striking, while for the second half of the round Diego was better and more effective on the ground.
Sanchez had three submission attempts on the bottom, while Clay did nothing. The epitome of a 10-10.
I must tell you this. During the time spent writing this article, I watched this fight three additional times. I also used the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts for guidance on how to score.