Matt Brown’s latest loss has only reinforced his belief that something has to be done about how MMA judging is handled.
Despite losing a close fight with Bryan Barberena at UFC Columbus this Saturday, Brown feels that he was able to prevail. Brown believes most people would agree with him and points out the fault of the judges at cageside.
“I think my feelings are pretty obvious,” Brown said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “I was certain that I had won. I think the common consensus was that I won, and then these judges they just — what are we gonna do, right?”
The third round proved to be the deciding frame as all three judges agreed on Round 1 (Brown) and Round 2 (Barberena). Barberena earned a pair of 10-9s to take the split nod, and Brown is left to wonder if he could have done more to seal the deal.
More importantly, Brown thinks fighters shouldn’t have to make an educated guess as to where they stand in the contest and that open scoring should be implemented.
” I was tired as Barberena,” said he. We were both tired, there was no doubt. It was hard work, but we still had lots of fun. The fight was great. The judges can take away your fight. It is hard because of how much you have put into it. One thing that kind of bothers me, it’s always bothered me about this sport is I don’t know that the judges are taking it away. I walk into that third round thinking I got the first two rounds, I can play it safe, I can try to pick him apart, which is kind of what I was trying to do. Trying to pick him apart and not really take big chances, but also not be a b**** and run away.
“It’s kind of ridiculous. In any other sport you get to see the score, right? You have to throw the Hail Mary.”
The Hail Mary .”
must be thrown.
On MMA Decisions, 15 media members scored the bout for Barberena, while four had it for Brown (two scored the bout a draw). In fan voting, 48. 6 percent scored it 29-28 Barberena with 29-28 Brown behind at 37. 1 percent.
Brown laughed at the idea of open scoring, which could lead to fighters taking a risk in order to keep a lead for the last round. Regardless of potential complications, he believes the pros of fighters having more information to work with outweigh the cons.
“That’s a really foolish argument,” Brown said. “If you watch wrestling, they know if they’re down. Now, I would also be in favor of some other things like maybe stalling [penalties] like they do in wrestling. Like, you can’t just run the entire third round if you’re up. It’s subjective, however.
” Unfortunately, as subjective and varied as the score is, as I’ve seen with my fight, it was clear that it was close. Neither of us really knew our true position. Our intuitions of our positions were all that we had. I thought it was very clear in my opinion, but obviously I was wrong. So why should we not get to know where we stand?”
This was the second loss in three appearances for Brown, the other being a unanimous decision loss to Carlos Condit in January 2021. Brown felt like he had won the last one, but he also has doubts about how the state of the judging is.
“I think there’s a lot broken with the entire scoring system altogether,” Brown said. I’ve seen my fight several times. This is just one example. I’ve had a couple of other fights that I’m very sure that I won a decision, but they gave it to the other guy. I don’t know exactly what they’re scoring. I’ve been in this sport for 20 years, I’ve been in the UFC 14 years now, I don’t know exactly what they’re scoring.
“For example, they gave the second round to Barberena. It is quite certain that I won the round at least 4 minutes. I was rocked once by him and he won the 10 second, or the final minute. All the other rounders gave me the round. But it’s like, dude, I just did four minutes of work. I don’t understand why you are giving him the one-minute round.
“So again, I don’t know what it is they’re scoring exactly. Of course, I could look it up and read about it, which I have, but I don’t know if these guys understand the sport well enough, and I don’t know if fighters [becoming judges] are the right solution either. Fighters are very biased, and that’s a difficult situation also.”
When Brown was asked if he believes his side should have the responsibility for giving the correct read to the winner fighter, Brown stood by his team.
” My corner said I was up for two rounds,” Brown stated. “[I’m not mad at them] – they were right. The judges were wrong, not my corner.”