UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley

Ross Pearson: 'Something has to be done about MMA judging'

Ross Pearson: 'Something has to be done about MMA judging'

Ross Pearson isn't happy--and it's directly because of the judging in MMA.

Jul 29, 2016 by FloCombat Staff
Ross Pearson: 'Something has to be done about MMA judging'
Ross Pearson will become the UFC's most active fighter in 2016 when he steps inside the Octagon for the fourth time this weekend at UFC 201 against Jorge Masvidal.

While Pearson has avoided the frustration of inactivity, the Sunderland-born man has had to deal with another irritant--the state of MMA judging.

The current method of MMA scoring, the 10-point must system--in which one fighter receives 10 points per round and the other (typically) receives nine or less--hasn't been kind to Pearson in recent times. Out of his last nine fights, he's lost five, dropping four of them by decision.

One of those losses includes what many consider one of the worst decisions in the history of the UFC when in 2014 Diego Sanchez was awarded a split-decision victory over Pearson at UFC Fight Night 42.

Having suffered another decision loss to the debuting Will Brooks earlier this month at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale, it would appear Pearson is getting to the end of his tether.

"I just think my style is hard to win a three-round fight, you know?" Pearson said. "A lot of judges score a takedown against me when I get straight back up more than they do a strike. The judging has to be looked at. How is a takedown when the guy does nothing with it and pops straight back up worth more than me coming in and landing a four-punch combination or controlling the pressure?"

To Pearson, every decision he's lost comes down to one thing.

"I've never been beat up and I've never lost a decision because I've been dominated or because I've been smashed," he said. "I've always lost these decisions because I've run out of time."

He then dove into detail a little more on exactly why he thought he deserved the decision against Brooks.

"I started a bit slow, but he didn't do anything really," he said. "I just kind of hesitated with his wrestling and [he] put me against the fence a few times. There were no significant strikes landed, so you could argue he won that round."

From there, Pearson sees the fight differently.

"In the second round though, I picked up my momentum and started landing shots," Pearson said. "He got a takedown, but I landed more shots and ended up on top in the end."

In the third round, Pearson's frustration with scoring came to a head.

"The third round, I dominated it, but the judges saw it completely different," Pearson said. "I just don't see how they can score an insignificant takedown as being worth more than strikes. I don't know. I just think the 10-point must system is not effective in MMA."

With his frustrations clearly evident, Pearson then gave a few recommendations for what he would do if he had the chance to make some changes to the judging criteria.

"If I could change the system, I'd do a few things," Pearson continued. "The fights have changed so much in MMA. It's in like a second generation now, and the fighters are evolving. The judging needs to change too. I'd like to see the fights go five, three-minute rounds, because I think it's easier to judge a fight over five rounds than it is three."

"Also, we need to look at why kicking and punching someone isn't at least the same amount of points [as] pressing someone up against the fence is. I guess it's control but it's in a different way and often not as effective."

While Pearson can suggest changes, he knows in the short term things won't be changing, and his frustration to his current situation is apparent.

"Something has to be done about MMA judging," he said. "I've lost four fights in the UFC not because I got my ass whooped, but because I've run out of time in a three-round fight and had bad judging. It will have to change eventually."