ByJason Nawara, writer at
Jason Nawara

Needless to say, but I will: Officiating in every sport is difficult. Normal men and women are making decisions in real-time from a specific angle while the world watches, and mistakes are made. It's a thankless job, and it's easy to play armchair referee when you're watching on TV or seeing a slo-mo replay. There's no doubt MMA referees screw up; to err is human, but the positives that come from these issues and longtime gripes from fans is that we're going to see real changes to the way MMA works in 2017.

One of the biggest changes will be the more liberal judging on who wins a round. Basically, we're going to see more 10-8s.

In an extensive interview with BloodyElbow, Big John McCarthy discussed the state of MMA reffing, low pay and these upcoming rule changes. McCarthy explains to Ram Gilboa that judges will have far more education and clarification on what to look for in a fight and how to judge a round.

So is it all about clarification, basically?

McCarthy: It’s about cleaning it up for them, and then it’s also about making them realize what’s the difference between 10-10, 10-9, 10-8 and 10-7.

We’re going to see more and more 10-8s?

McCarthy: You will see a lot more 10-8s.

Will the new rules change MMA?

McCarthy: No. It’s not going to change it. There will be some difference in what the fighters are gonna do. A lot of fighters start to take rounds off, they think ‘I’ve won the first two rounds in my opinion, so I’m just going try to coast.’ They can now lose that round 10-8 pretty easy.

So we’re going to see more draws now.

McCarthy: You’ll probably will see more.

This guy literally has seen it all, so it's best to jump over to BloodyElbow to read the whole, fascinating interview.


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