Matt Brown gets real on open scoring in MMA

Open scoring has been a hot topic in MMA with many people wanting the scores to be known by everyone in between rounds. UFC welterweight Matt Brown is someone that’s in favor of knowing the score during the fight.

Matt Brown experienced a lot of frustration in his last fight against Bryan Barberena at UFC Columbus. The Ohio native thought he won the first two rounds and opted not to take any risks in the third round.

“I think my feelings are pretty obvious,” Brown said Wednesday on The MMA Hour. “I definitely thought I won. I think the common consensus was that I won, and then these judges they just—what are we gonna do, right?”

Matt Brown spoke out and explained what went through his mind in the third round at UFC Columbus. He got tired at the end of the first round and did what he had to do to beat Bryan Barberena.

“I was very tired, as was Barberena,” the UFC welterweight said. “No doubt about it, we were definitely tired. That was a grueling fight, we had a lot of fun. It was such a fun fight. It’s tough because you put all that into it and then the judges take it away. One thing that kind of bothers me, it’s always bothered me about this sport is I don’t know that the judges are taking it away. I walk into that third round thinking I got the first two rounds, I can play it safe, I can try to pick him apart, which is kind of what I was trying to do. Trying to pick him apart and not really take big chances, but also not be a bitch and run away.

“It’s kind of ridiculous. In any other sport you get to see the score, right? Other than boxing, I guess, not necessarily combat sports, but in wrestling or if you’re playing football and it’s the fourth quarter, you know that you’re down by a touchdown, you’ve got to go for it. You’ve got to throw the Hail Mary.”

Many don’t want to see open scoring in the UFC as they feel like fighters would take the last round off. Matt Brown was quick to laugh that off.

“That’s a really foolish argument,” Brown said after UFC Columbus. “If you watch wrestling, they know if they’re down. Now, I would also be in favor of some other things like maybe stalling [penalties] like they do in wrestling. Like, you can’t just run the entire third round if you’re up. But again, it’s very subjective.

“But as subjective as the scoring is already as we’ve seen in my fight, which everybody can make their own opinion about it, but it’s obvious that the fight was very close, and neither one of us knew where we truly stood. We were only going off our own intuition of where we stood. I thought it was very clear in my opinion, but obviously I was wrong. So why should we not get to know where we stand?”

The subject of open scoring also brings up the question of judging in MMA. Many fighters in the UFC get frustrated with judging and even a veteran of the game like Matt Brown has no idea what the judges are looking for.

“I think there’s a lot broken with the entire scoring system altogether,” Brown said. “I’ve watched my fight a few times. That’s just one example. I’ve had a couple of other fights that I’m very sure that I won a decision, but they gave it to the other guy. I don’t know exactly what they’re scoring. I’ve been in this sport for 20 years, I’ve been in the UFC 14 years now, I don’t know exactly what they’re scoring.

“For example, they gave the second round to Barberena. I won at least four minutes of that round I think pretty unquestionably. He rocked me once and won maybe the last 10 seconds, maybe the last minute, and they all gave him the round. But it’s like, dude, I just did four minutes of work. Why are you giving him the round based off one minute?

“So again, I don’t know what it is they’re scoring exactly. Of course, I could look it up and read about it, which I have, but I don’t know if these guys understand the sport well enough, and I don’t know if fighters [becoming judges] are the right solution either. Fighters are very biased, and that’s a difficult situation also.”

Some felt like Matt Brown’s corner should have been more vocal about how their fighter was doing at UFC Columbus. As it turns out, they did. This brings the argument for open scoring back up to the forefront.

“My corner told me I was up two rounds,” Brown said. “[I’m not mad at them] – they were right. The judges were wrong, not my corner.”

UFC, Gilbert Burns, Khamzat Chimaev

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