The brawler mentality has, for the most part, run its course in MMA. The sport has evolved, and pure tenacity alone just doesn’t seem to cut it in the ring. This saddens me, because I don’t want to see the Diego Sanchez' lose their place in the sport. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about how technical every aspect of the sport has become, and is becoming. In fact, sometimes it’s difficult for me to decide whether or not I enjoy fight theory, or the act of fighting more. I’m sure I’ll still be as obsessed with martial arts despite the popular rule set, but I’d hate to see a set of rules reduce the incentive of fighters to try and finish a fight.
I believe one of my greatest problems with the current atmosphere of MMA is the prevalence of the “fight to win rounds” mentality. I’m not talking about people who go out and out grind their opponent to a decision, because that is an art in it of itself; I am talking about the fighters who try to quickly establish the upper hand in a round and then disengage from their opponent to try and edge them out on the scorecards. I understand the desire to minimize risk in a sport as dangerous as ours, but if you can’t embrace the vicious exchanges, and more importantly, give the fans what they pay for, then what’s the point?
Which brings me to the point of this stream of thought: I’ve been thinking about a new form of MMA. I know what some of you are thinking (if anyone reads this) but bear with me. I don’t think the problem is in the rule set per se; I completely agree that some techniques don’t belong in a sport that claims to value the safety and longevity of its athletes. Instead, I believe the problem lies in the scoring of fights. The ten point must system, is a bust system (heheheh). There is simply too much subjectivity and room for idiocy to ease the sick feeling in my gut every time a close fight goes to a decision.
What I suggest, is a fight scored entirely on ring control. A four foot in diameter circle at the center of the ring, the fighter who has both of his feet in the circle for the most time win’s the round. Eliminate the urge to do the bear minimum, increase the urgency for action, and give an incentive for controlling the pace of that action. If you still want to be an elusive fighter, you will have to be one with dangerous intentions, and actively be seeking a finish. Imagine a world where judges have no say, cornermen could tell you exactly what you need to do to win, and fighters could no longer say, "well I thought I did enough to win the fight." Now I doubt this will ever become a televised or sanctioned version sport, but I urge you all to implement this into your sparring and drilling. At the very least, it may help those greenies out there understand and appreciate fighting in the pocket. After all, isn’t the purpose of competition to establish dominance? Enjoy my brainchild, and fight well.