Dana White Believes Open Scoring Could Lead to ‘A Lot of Bad Third Rounds’

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 6, 2021
Dana White is not among those who is in favor of open scoring in mixed martial arts.

The concept, which allows fighters and their teams to be made aware of the judges’ scorecards in between rounds, has gained momentum recently in the sport. Invicting Fighting Championships has been utilizing open scoring on its cards held in Kansas City, Kansas, since March 6. While the Kansas Athletic Commission was in favor of the idea, commissions in Nevada and California have not been receptive as of yet.

White discussed his aversion to open scoring during a Q&A with Laura Sanko on ESPN+ Tuesday.

“If a guy knows that he’s up two rounds and you’re a professional fighter, you can absolutely stay away from a guy for an entire round and make the fight completely horrible,” the UFC president said (transcription via MMAjunkie.com). “If you already know you’ve got two rounds in the bag, guarantee if you saw your score up there, all [you] have to do is stay away from this guy for the next five minutes. That makes for a lot of bad third rounds.”

In addition to making for potentially limited action in the final stanza, White says open scoring subtracts from the suspense at the end of a close fight.

“When we do the fights, I have an idea of who I think won or lost or whatever, but when I’m standing there with the belt, I don’t know what [ring announcer] Bruce Buffer is going to say,” White said. “He doesn’t tell me anything. The judges tell him, the commission do their thing, they tell him, and I’m standing there waiting to hear too, so I’m just as blown away as the fans are. And I agree with you: It completely takes away the anticipation of who won the fight.”

Over the years, White hasn’t hesitated to be critical of judges’ scorecards in controversial decisions. That said, it doesn’t appear as though the UFC boss wants to make any drastic changes in that regard anytime soon.

“Its never going to be perfect,” White said. “There are always going to be fights that absolutely drive you insane and piss you off, blow your bets, there will always be all these other things that go with the fight business. At the end of the day, watching the fight and waiting for the results are fun.”

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