With a decade of UFC experience behind him, Al Iaquinta isn’t in any rush to see open scoring in his fights.
The UFC lightweight champion has represented both the UFC and the other side of the decision-making coin in his entire career. However, Iaquinta, who is a strong advocate for open scoring being implemented across the sport, believes that it should not be changed but rather maintained the current status quo while improving the performance of those responsible for scoring rounds.
“It changes everything. That would change the sport,” Iaquinta said of open scoring on Heck of a Morning. In between rounds everyone will be watching the scoreboard. How many men would that really impact? It’s almost as if it’s part and parcel of the sport, even if you judge poorly.
“I’d tell you one thing: if I thought I was up two rounds, and they flashed the scorecards in-between the second and third, and I found out that I was down, I might have a mental breakdown. I might jump over the cage and attack the judges.
” I just feel that this sounds great in theory. But then, when you put something like that into it it changes everything. While I understand the need for it in certain circumstances, it is not necessary in 99 percent fighting in the UFC or MMA. We just need better judging. The judging needs to be improved. It’d be nice if fighters knew there was a bad judge.
Iaquinta had teased retirement following his November loss to Bobby Green at UFC 268 but indicated on The MMA Hour in February that he hasn’t definitively made that decision. The 34-year-old has lost three straight — which includes decision losses to Donald Cerrone and Dan Hooker.
Having competed in multiple hard-nosed battles that have gone to the judges’ scorecards inside the octagon, Iaquinta feels that there’s a bit of extra excitement of not knowing what the scoreboard reads heading into a final round.
“That is the beauty of fight sports. Fighters have to be able to step out and compete without knowing whether they are winning or losing. “With open scoring, it’s, ‘We have to finish him this round.’ Now, it’s like, you might have to finish. It’s not all that clear. It’s a little bit mysterious, but I am an old-school guy. This way has been for ages. It would be quite a feat to try something similar, particularly in UFC.