Official scorecard from Georges St-Pierre-Johny Hendricks UFC 167 fight
Many people felt like Johny Hendricks won his welterweight title fight against Georges St-Pierre on Saturday in Las Vegas even though GSP was awarded a split-decision win.
One of the most vocal critics was Dana White, who ripped the judges and Nevada State Athletic Commission a new one after the fight. Hendricks also thought he won the fight.
“I thought I clearly won that fight. Did you guys see the same fight that I just fought?” he asked rhetorically after the bout.
Well, after looking at the judges’ official scorecard from the fight, the good news is that the judges all seemed to be on the same page for the most part and only differed on one round. Sal D’Amato and Tony Weeks gave GSP the first round, while only Glenn Trowbridge gave it to Hendricks. All three had Hendricks winning the second and fourth, and GSP winning the third and fifth.
In his post-fight press conference, White mentioned something I’ve repeated about boxing: fights shouldn’t be scored on a round-by-round basis, but on a scale of who did the most overall damage during the fight. The rounds should just serve as a break for fighters, not as a segment where fights should be scored as a win or loss. Here’s a good comparison: do you think baseball should be scored based on how many innings a team wins, or based on the total score of the game?
Pride Fighting in Japan had the right idea. If a fight went to a decision, they judged it on a whole, not based on round-by-round. Here were the criteria:
– The effort made to finish the fight via KO or submission
– Damage given to the opponent
– Standing combinations and ground control
– Takedowns and takedown defense
– Weight (in the case that the weight difference is 10 kg/22 lb or more)
The UFC and boxing should adopt similar rules for scoring and then they’ll get more outcomes right.