Michael Bisping theorizes new method of testing judges following UFC 247 controversy

Michael Bisping, Jon Jones

Michael Bisping is calling for major changes to the MMA judge scoring system, and he has his own ideas on how to do it.

The former middleweight champion sat down for an episode of his Believe You Me podcast, with co-host Luis J Gomez. A hot topic on today’s discussion was unsurprisingly the judging controversies at UFC 247.

The scorecards and judges came under fire during Saturday night’s action at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The closely contested bout between Jon Jones vs Dominick Reyes ended in a unanimous decision victory for Jones. The main event scorecard was a clean sweep of 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 in favour of Jones, which shocked many spectators who were convinced that Reyes had won.

Meanwhile, the judgement rulings of Andre Ewell vs. Jonathan Martinez and Andrea Lee vs. Lauren Murphy also caused a stir of controversy. Dana White was heavily critical of the judges’ scoring and Joe Rogan accused one of the judges of looking at the floor and not paying attention to the fight.

Michael Bisping and Luis J. Gomez unanimously agreed with the criticisms made.

“Well to be honest, I agree with what you say, fair play to [Joe] Rogan,” Bisping said to Gomez.

“If you do see something like that, we’ve got to say that, we’ve got to step up, we’ve got to put our necks on the line for the welfare of the fighters,” Bisping added. “Because these guys are out there f*cking punishing themselves on a daily basis, risking a lot of things for the fan’s enjoyment.

“Yes of course, for their success as well, but for the f*cking judge to be so disrespectful—to not even be watching fight…I mean, let alone, the fact that that’s what he’s getting paid to do on that evening,” Bisping continued. “His job that night is to watch the fight and judge them and get paid for it. Number one, it’s failing at that. Secondly, it’s disrespecting the sport and he’s disrespecting the fighters in there and all the sacrifices that they made.”

The former champion commended Jones’ fighting but also believed that Dominick Reyes should have won the light-heavyweight title bout. To combat incompetent judgements in the future, Bisping wants a new—but also heavy-handed—approach.

“The only thing I would say, is judges need to be held accountable. At the end of the fight, we had [Joe] Rogan, [Dominick] Cruz and [Jon] Anik talking about judging it and what we can do.

“I always say the same thing,” continued Bisping. “Here’s what needs to happen, you sit that judge down in a room with some other judges, three or four other judges. You watch the fight with him, and at the end of it, he explains to the other judges how he scored it. And if he can’t give a rational, convincing argument as to why the other guy won the round, then guess what? You’re gone.”

Luis Gomez also suggested a possible fine or better education for judges. What do you think is the best approach? Do you like this suggestion from Michael Bisping?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/11/2020.