MMA News

Friday, 05/04/2012, 08:11 am

Ricardo Almeida Nervous About First UFC Judging Gig This Weekend On FOX

“Yeah, I’m going to be nervous. It’ll be like I’m walking into a fight myself. But the spotlight only makes me want to be sharper and do a better job. It will be pretty intense, but I will be on my toes with this UFC event, because I know all eyes are going to be on me.”

A long-time veteran of the fight game, New Jersey’s own Ricardo Almeida is set to embark on a new phase in his career this weekend. That of an MMA ringside judge for the New Jersey Athletic Commission.

With so many bad scores and calls in MMA, Almeida is the first UFC crossover that has gone from fighter to official, and many fans and analysts believe that this is the key to start improving the sport.

Having been inside the cage and in rings across the globe for several years, Ricardo will be able to identify the action that is going on in the cage better than his judging peers and as such should be able to help rectify some of the problems with the bad calls and poor scoring.

He is but one man, and sadly, the two other judges who will sit beside him will be able to trump any score he turns in, but it’s a start.


(quote via


9 Responses to “Ricardo Almeida Nervous About First UFC Judging Gig This Weekend On FOX”

  1. K2 says:

    It’s about time they put someone that knows something about MMA as a judge.

  2. mean170 says:

    I like this as long as the judges manage to stay unbiased. I don’t want people awarding rounds to fighters just because they trained with them at some point.

  3. stewbot says:

    I don’t know how I feel about this. Since Almeida trains with current UFC fighters, fought current fighters. There is some doubt that his judging may be biased towards the fighters he knows/trains with against those he fought and their training partners or association with other gyms/fight camps. This is all just speculation, I don’t know Almeida. Hopefully his professionalism shines through because it’s about time we got some quality judges in MMA.

    • James says:

      Maybe so. It is hard to imagine him being a step down from some of the current judges though.

    • Shawn says:

      This is my concern too. But, I’m sure he realizes this, and as he said “all eyes will be on him”. Not only is his reputation on the line, but also the long argument if fighters make better judges. He is setting the precedence for this.

  4. BJC says:

    The first step in the right direction to making the system work.

  5. Shawn says:

    This is a step in the right direction. But I still want to see his score card for each fight.

  6. 808 says:

    Ricardo Almeida is a class act and I’m sure he won’t be biased in his judging. Still, I’m sure the UFC won’t put him ringside for the Edgar/Bendo rematch.

  7. J.S. MARIO says:

    I think Riccardo is only licensed by the NJSAC, so he’ll only do fights in NJ. Venues include izod center, prudential center, and casinos in A/C. , so he’ll only be available for the 2 ufc events per year in jersey. If Frankie Edgar or Tom DeBlass (2 current ufc fighters he trains) were fighting, he’d be in their corner not in the judges seat…and I agree that you should not judge , nor should your opponents (trainers/cornermen/training partners) be official judges at a fight…
    Riccardo comes out of Gracie BJJ and if you heard Nate Diaz’s interview this week, he talked of much mutual respect for Riccardo and that when Riccardo fought Hughes in Oakland 2 years back, that Riccardo trained with Nate and Nick at their gym during fight week. He is also friendly with the Miller brothers and Mike Constantino from their gym in Whippany, so I am sure he will call this one down the middle…Everything I’ve ever heard about Riccardo is that he’s a standup guy and I am sure he will do a great job tonight…

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