Thursday, March 17, 2011

MMA overtime: Yay or Nay?

With Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard and Jon Fitch vs. B.J. Penn both going to a draw, a debate has broken out in the MMA world over ties and overtime. Should fights that are scored as draws be given an overtime, sudden-death round?

Edgar is on board.

"I think another five-minute round would be perfect," Edgar said. "You go into a fight, you prepare, and you want a decisive outcome. To have to wait another three months and possibly another fight is kind of annoying. I would say another round would be great. You get to figure out who's the winner right then and there.

Edgar had to face a rematch with B.J. Penn after winning the belt in a narrow decision, and now has another one scheduled because of the draw with Maynard.

The positives that Edgar mentioned are obvious. It would give both the fighters and fans a decision that night on who should win. It would also favor fighters who have stronger cardio. 

But it's not a completely perfect idea. For a sport as punishing as MMA, adding a round adds the opportunity for injury. Also, if commissions overseeing MMA in the U.S. were to adopt an overtime rule, would it be just for championship fights in major promotions, like with Edgar and Maynard, or would it extend to all fights? That could be problematic for fighters on smaller shows who don't train full-time.

I'm in favor of using overtime to decide championship bouts that end in a draw, which would mean no rematch for Edgar/Maynard, and that the lightweight belt would get to be tested by a new fighter. However, as Penn/Fitch was not for a belt, it would remain a draw.

It's not all about me, though. What do you think, readers? 


Alexander Gustafsson Jaime Gutierrez Dave Gomez Keith Hackney Matt Hamill

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