Commentary

Title contenders shine; judges don't

Originally Published: July 28, 2014
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

Saturday's UFC event in San Jose, California, saw a few things.

Robbie Lawler (24-10) earned a title shot with a win over Matt Brown (19-12) in a fun welterweight bout.

Anthony Johnson (18-4) did what he did to poor Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-6) in a bout that looked less like a fight and more like an unfair mugging. Bobby Green (23-5) continued to make a name for himself in a close win over Josh Thomson (20-7).

And a light heavyweight fight produced a rare set of scorecards.

Patrick Cummins (6-1) defeated Kyle Kingsbury (11-6) in a fight that was arguably equally as lopsided as the Johnson-Nogueira bout. Cummins dominated Kingsbury, accumulating 10 takedowns and landing 115 total strikes to Kingsbury's 22.

Official scores for the fight, which read 30-27, 30-25 and 30-24 in Cummins' favor, illustrated one thing: Judges still don't understand what a 10-8 round is.

[+] EnlargeKyle Kingsbury-Patrick Cummins
Rod Mar for ESPNPatrick Cummins churned out a dominating display -- but not quite one worthy of a 30-24 scorecard.

At the very least, they obviously don't agree on what it looks like. They never have, really, and this is just another glaring example of that.

UFC president Dana White surprised me with his take on the scoring. He called out the 30-24 score, which in my opinion was far less egregious than the 30-27.

White's comment: "There was a 30-24. How about that? You'll never f------ see that again. A 30-24. Somebody will have to die for there to be [another] 30-24."

Aside from that, White should have addressed the 30-27.

The California State Athletic Commission discussed the use of 10-8 rounds at a training session for officials this year and one of the messages was: Don't be afraid to use them.

Well, the Cummins-Kingsbury fight appeared to include at least one 10-8. Besides a few leg kicks, Kingsbury scored no offense. Cummins spent nearly 10 full minutes in dominant position, busting Kingsbury up along the way. Kingsbury, 32, announced his retirement after the bout.

The CSAC made it a point to educate officials on what constitutes a 10-8 round this year, but it's obvious more education is needed. Whether you thought a 10-8 round was appropriate in the Cummins-Kingsbury fight or not, the point is that too many acting officials have different views of what one looks like. And that's a problem.

Now, ESPN.com grades for the UFC card at SAP Center.

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