Demian Maia Thinks MMA Judges Should Clarify The Rules


Demian Maia lost a disappointing split decision at last night’s UFN 29, in a fight that could have gone either way. The fact that on judge scored the bout 48-47 for Maia, while the other two favored the American shows that it was a tough fight to tally.

The BJJ wizard Maia feels like he caught the rough end of the deal from the judges, and the he in fact did more than enough to win. Check out what he had to say at the post fight conference in Brazil:

“I don’t understand the judges. My strategy going to the fifth round was defend the takedowns and score points standing, so I thought the fight was 3-2 to me.”

Although I understand Maia’s argument, it is well documented that leaving a fight for three judges to decide is not a wise choice. Maia continued:

“I’ve lost positions that I usually don’t and I don’t know why,” he said. “Maybe I got excited to be fighting at home. I landed one good hand on him on the third round and he felt it. I immediately went to take his back. I normally would go for the submission but I tried to knock him out, and he recovered and reverted the position.”

If only he had gone with his strength in submissions, Maia may have walked away victorious after the gruelling five round headliner. Instead he finds himself on the other side of the fence after such an impressive run at 170.

“I think the judges should make their criteria more clear, and the judges should go public,” he said. “A decision like this change a fighter’s life and these guys never show up. They need to show up. They need to know the responsibility they have with judging, and they should clarify the rules.”

The fact that an outside commission chooses judges/referees means that there will always be some uneducated sap judging a fighters performance. In such an unpredictable sport it is often a gamble to fight to win a decision, which is what Shields seemed content to do.

Its not all doom and gloom for the Brazilian, as he looks ahead in his career:

“Things can change quickly in the UFC,” he said. “I lost to Nate Marquardt in my first loss as a middleweight and then I defeated Dan Miller and fought for the title against Anderson Silva. I can’t think about that. I just need to think about my next fight, and fight a good guy like Shields.”

  • take the loss like a man, you shoulda done something about it if you don't trust the judges, your not the only one who "feels" they got the win but it didn't go your way

    • Ivy

      EXACTLY. Plus, defending take downs isn't like to earn you points so much as Octagon aggression and control, like Jake with his TD attempts. Round 5 sealed it for Jake.

  • I am sick of the saying " don't leave the fight in the hands of the judges " People who say that have NEVER fought and any fighter that says that is just ignorant. The fighters are going in there to win by KO or SUB…That's the goal, sometimes when fighting THE TOP TALENT in the world you may not be able to finish that person. I don't think Maia is " not taking it like a man" He has a valid point – The same point that Bryan Cox made about the Commissions – They don't understand MMA, don't care too and make a mess of the entire situation. Most judges don't know how to score a MMA fight and the scoring system is HORRIBLE.

    The commissions only want to get paid, not improve the sport or even listen or react to the fans…Hell the top guy in Vegas loves to be on TV and is basically a star…..

    • oh well, until the commissions get straightened out, there will continue to be controversies.

  • Most sites judged the fight for Shields. It was extremely close, and the only clear(ish) rounds were 2 and 3 for Shields and 4 for Maia (IMO obviously). 1 and 5 were incredibly close. I gave 1 to Shields for reversing at basically the half way point of the round, and winning on the ground while there. I gave Maia #5 because I think he landed the better shots standing out of the two, and there was no real ground fighting.

    It was a close fight that really could have gone either way. A lot of people talk about a lot of fights being that way, but usually one guy does a little big more in a slightly clear manner. However, this was definitely either way.

  • QUIT bitching about how they seen the fight, if you don't like it, then take more of a chance to finish the fight, or deal with the judges decision. It's really that simple! His points on the judging system is absolutely valid, but that's the case for both fighters, every fighter has the same chance of winning/losing a decision. So if you "allow" it to go to a decision, then you best accept the result like a man, if not, then the next time you're in a close fight, either TKO/KO or submit your opponent or get KO'd/submitted trying.

    Many fighters have lost fights where they were clearly the winner, some fights weren't even close and the guy who lost all 3 rounds, ends up winning?!? Maia, your fight was so close, it could have gone either way. The problem I have is when, two judges have it scored 29-28 or 30-27 for one guy & the 3rd judge has it 30-27 for the other guy. How can that be?!? That's like a 6 pt difference, if one guy won it 30-27 on 2 judges score cards, how can the other judge have it 30-27 for the other guy?!? That makes absolutely no sense & thats where the problem lies, unfortunately, it's a problem that will not get resolved any time soon!

  • Wasnt Shields on top in control for rounds 1 2 and 3?

    Either way this fight put me to sleep. Even the Brazilians were booing it.

  • How about 5 judges instead of three and if 4 out of 5 of them do not have a unanimous winner then the fight is a draw. I'm tired of razor edge wins. If the fight could have been judged either way, then that means that neither fighter truly beat the other and the sport should try to make like there was one. Too bad that draws don't settle rankings in a nice clean way. The Shields vs Maia fight was a draw. I don't see where Shields showed he was the better more dominate fighter over Maia in the fight.