Max Holloway discusses MMA’s scoring system: ‘I’ve never met a fighter or even a judge who thinks it’s perfect’

Max Holloway, Toronto Raptors
Image: The Star

On Friday night, Kansas City will host a monumental night in MMA history, and Max Holloway wants to be a part of it.

The former UFC featherweight champion will be in attendance for the Invicta FC show at the Memorial Hall in Kansas. It will be the first time in modern MMA that an open scoring system—or real-time scoring system—is used in major competition.

After each round at Invicta FC: Phoenix Series 3, the judges’ scores will be made public. The Kansas Athletic Commission (KAC) decided last month that they would allow the implementation of real-time scoring for events in their state. The Invicta show will be the first show operating under new rules, a stark contrast to the current Unified Rules of MMA where scores are read at the end of the fight.

Holloway has shared his own criticisms of the current widespread scoring system for MMA in the past and today is no different.

“I’ve been in the UFC for eight years,” the Hawaiian told ESPN. “I’ve won five title fights in the UFC, and I’ve never met a fighter or even a judge who thinks the scoring system in MMA is perfect. So what are we going to do? We at that point. If all of us agree it’s not perfect, what we going to do? What are we doing? What are we doing now? Are we just gonna keep tweeting? What are we doing? Why are we still talking if we all agree? The first step is to test ideas. And that’s what I’m here for.”

Kansas boxing commissioner Adam Roorbach explained that two people will collect the judges’ scores following each round. Roorbach will then input the scores into a computer. There will be two people with tablets on either side of the hall that will show the scores. The scores will also be uploaded onto the big screen at the beginning of each round.

The intention is to prevent fighters from easily seeing the scores themselves, but allowing their coaches the ability to see and tell their athletes—if they choose to. Roorbach predicts the changes to the system will take approximately 40 seconds or less between each round.

“We don’t want to take away from the fighter getting their recovery time,” Roorbach said. “We don’t want to take away from the cutman or coach working on the fighter.”

“Open scoring has been tested in boxing,” Holloway added. “Cool. MMA isn’t boxing, my friends. We don’t know for sure how it will work in MMA. And if it creates more problems than it fixes, that’s good, because at least we finally have proof and can move on to the next idea.

“But maybe it works. Or maybe it creates new problems. But we can fix those with new scoring and rules. I don’t know, but nobody does. And that’s why we have to put down the bag of Cheetos now and do the work. I’m here for it.”

Are you with Max Holloway on this one? Do you like the idea of the new scoring system?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/4/2020.