Ever watched an MMA fight go to a decision after three rounds and wished it could have been a five round fight instead? If so, you’re certainly not alone.
At the present time only title fights in MMA are designated to go five rounds, but at a Q&A with fans yesterday in Ontario, UFC president Dana White stated that 25 minute non-title fights could be coming to the promotion soon.
“There’s been fights that we’ve been watching that are three round fights and we’re like, ‘Damn, this should have been a five round fight. It’s the main event and it should have been five,'” White admitted. “I agree with you, and yes, we could do it. We could make a main event five rounds, and we’re probably going to start doing that.”
A good example of a fight that should have went five rounds recently was the main event of UFC 123 between Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Lyoto Machida. After two close, cautious rounds, Machida took the fight to Rampage in the third, rocking him with a punch and then threatening with submissions on the mat.
When the final bell went it was a real disappointment as it felt as if the fight was only just heating up, and we may have been on course to get a definitive winner. Instead the fight went to the judges scorecards where Rampage was handed a controversial split-decision win that felt very unsatisfactory.
A five round non-title fight would have solved that problem, but the concept is not without it’s flaws.
How can one non-title fight be deemed worthy of being five rounds and another not? Is it fair to put fighters through a full 25 minute fight which would require extra training without a significant incentive such as a title involved? Would more frequent five round fights diminish the prestige of an actual title fight?
Despite these concerns I do hope that it’s something that the UFC at least experiment with to see if it can work.
Check out Dana’s comments in the video below.