One of the most respected voices in the sport of MMA, Randy “The Natural” Couture has joined in openly criticizing judging in the sport. Speaking with CageWriter.com recently, Couture explained how unfortunate it is that consistently accurate judging has remained absent from mixed martial arts competition, using the recent and controversial judges’ decision in the Lyoto Machida-Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (in which Jackson was awarded the split decision win) bout as a platform for argument.
“[Judges] see some superficial things like ‘Rampage’ moving forward the whole time in that fight and they attribute that to him winning those rounds,” Couture said. “And technically that’s not what was happening. It sucks to be a fighter and have that happen to you.”
“The Natural” touched on a point that is often made concerning inadequate judging in MMA and that is that many of the judges officiating MMA bouts hail from a boxing background and don’t fully understand the sport of MMA or how to accurately score a MMA fight.
“I think it’s a huge issue,” he said. “It’s a lot different than judging boxing and unfortunately a lot of judges transferred over. They don’t understand a lot of the intricacies of our sport. Who’s controlling the tempo of the fight. Who’s actually technically scoring.”
Pointing to infamous judge and occasional referee Cecil Peoples’ continued butchering of MMA officiating as evidence, Couture believes that there needs to be an official attempt at correcting the problems that exist in MMA judging.
“Unfortunately guys like (Cecil) Peoples, and some of these guys have been around for a long time too, I’d think they’d have figured it out by now. I think there has to be some sort of education or certification program for these judges to get them up to speed on the criteria and what they’re looking at to judge these fights.”