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By: Jason Amadi, MMATorch Columnist
Neil writes: I just read your article concerning Frankie Edgar moving down a weight. While I agree with most of the content, there was one part I couldn't agree with. When you said damage isn't and shouldn't be part of the unified rules I have to say that surely damage is evidence of effective striking so already is, and always rightfully should be considered.
A: I think you're absolutely right. Damage is evidence of effective striking and I believe that is the extent to which it should be represented in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. When I said that I didn't think damage should be listed as part of the scoring criteria, I simply meant that I was satisfied with the exclusion of the word "damage."
There are a lot of people out there who believe the Unified Rules should be amended to include phrases like "damage" and "effort to finish the fight," but I believe nebulous concepts like these would do far more harm than good.
The fact is, "damage" is completely superficial in most cases. You can only really identify damage through things like cuts, bruises, black eyes and bloody noses. Those are certainly things to look for in a fight, but at the end of the day what we should be scoring are clean, hard strikes. Effective striking is simply the best of both worlds.
It's popular right now to blame the Unified Rules for all the judging problems in mixed martial arts, and admittedly I used to be one of them. However, if you really take the time to read the rules, you'll find that the problem isn't the tool, but rather how it's used.
Brent writes: Would it be better for the UFC to have an organization rise up and produce competition for them, much like the WWE had with WCW, or for them to sit alone at the top with nobody to challenge them or compete with?
A: When people make this comparison I always point out that pro wrestling is a work and MMA is a shoot. If two pro wrestling companies go head to head, they can just up the quality of their shows. Pro wrestling companies can tighten things up, produce better storylines and give in more to the will of the fans.
That dynamic doesn't exist in mixed martial arts. In MMA you can have elaborate entrances and things like that, but the sport ultimately never changes.
Quite frankly, I have a hard time seeing any way the UFC could benefit from competition. They already put on fights fans want to see, they're giving away a ton of free cards this year and reduced the number of pay-per-views they put on. In my opinion, the UFC is already running at peak performance and has been since their only real competition (Pride Fighting Championships) went under.
That being said, fighters don't have the same ability to negotiate with the UFC alone at the top, but for fans this is ideal.
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