By In Mixed Martial Arts

The Gray Area Between Cheating and Savvy

As much as we try to quantify and categorize combat, there will always be things that evade scoring but still influence the result of the fight. When a fight goes to the judges, it is not just effective striking, grappling and cage control being scored. No judge sees everything, so the perception of who is winning is just that—a perception, as innately limited as any other human endeavor.

It should be noted that this is not a criticism of judging or any particular judge, rather a plain assessment of an inherently complex task. Attentively watching a fight unfold from a fixed position and rendering a score in the whirlwind of the moment is incredibly easy to do poorly, and everyone notices when that happens. Fighters and their coaches also know this, and often actively employ tricks to capitalize on it…

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