How does the MMA scoring system work and why is it controversial?

Mixed martial arts, or MMA for short, is a combat sport that combines various forms of martial arts and fighting styles. One of the most important aspects of MMA is the scoring system used to determine the winner of a fight. However, the scoring system used in MMA is often controversial and has been the subject of much debate. 

The MMA scoring system is used to determine the winner of a fight and is based on a 10-point must system. Under this system, judges award points to the fighters at the end of each round based on their performance. The fighter with the most points at the end of the fight is declared the winner. The judges consider various factors when awarding points, such as striking, grappling, damage and control.

The 10-point must system is based on the traditional scoring system used in boxing. In boxing, judges award points to the fighters based on their performance in each round. The fighter with the most points at the end of the fight is declared the winner. The 10-point must system was adopted by MMA as a way to make the sport more similar to boxing and make it more accessible to the mainstream audience.

However, the 10-point must system is controversial because it is subjective and open to interpretation. There are various reasons why arguably the 10 point system is not as appropriate for MMA as it is Boxing:

    1. Different criteria: Boxing and MMA are distinct sports with different rules and objectives. In boxing, the focus is primarily on punching and scoring clean hits. However, MMA incorporates various techniques such as striking, grappling, takedowns, ground control, and submissions. The boxing scoring system does not account for these additional aspects of MMA, leading to a potential bias toward striking. 

    2. Lack of emphasis on ground game: In MMA, fighters can employ ground-based techniques, including grappling and submissions, which can be critical in gaining dominance and controlling the fight. However, the boxing scoring system predominantly favors striking, which means that significant portions of an MMA bout, such as ground control and grappling exchanges, may not receive adequate recognition or scoring value.

    3. Aggression vs. effective striking: Boxing scoring often emphasizes effective aggression and clean punching. However, in MMA, effective striking is just one component of a fighter's overall performance. The scoring system may not properly consider factors like takedowns, defense, submissions attempts, and overall octagon control. As a result, a fighter who aggressively pursues strikes but neglects other elements may receive an undue advantage in the scoring.

    4. Bias toward stand-up fighting: MMA incorporates various aspects of combat, including striking, grappling, and submissions. However, the boxing scoring system tends to favor stand-up striking exchanges over other techniques. This bias can lead to an inaccurate representation of the overall fight dynamics, giving an advantage to fighters who excel primarily in boxing-style striking.

    5. This system doesn't always capture the nuances of a closely contested round in MMA, where both fighters may have had moments of success or dominance. There have been instances where rounds in MMA have ended up with close scores, despite one fighter having a more dominant performance.

In recent years, there have been calls to change the scoring system used in MMA. Some have proposed using a different scoring system, such as the round-by-round scoring system used in kickboxing. Others have proposed using a different scoring system that takes into account the different types of fighters and finishes. However, there is no consensus on what the best scoring system would be, and it remains a controversial issue.