Former Bellator featherweight champion A.J. McKee believes open scoring would be beneficial to fighters.
With plenty of questionable calls made by judges of late, McKee is of the opinion that fighters could avoid being on the wrong end of decisions by knowing where they stand as rounds go by.
McKee has one blemish on his MMA record – a unanimous decision loss to Patricio Freire, which he thought he won.
“Open scoring, at the end of the round fighters know where they lie within the fight, and it gives them the opportunity to dig deep, show that true warrior inside,” McKee told MMA Junkie Radio. “How bad do you want it? If you’re down, if you’re up. It shows your character of who you are and what your purpose in the fight game is.”
McKee, who returns on New Year’s Eve against Roberto de Souza at Bellator vs. Rizin, understands that open scoring could also lead to fighters coasting if they know for a fact that they’re winning. But with certain fights that are hard to score, open scoring could encourage the losing fighter to go out on his or her shield – at least McKee knows he would.
“If you’re up (four rounds to none), obviously you’re gonna go wrestle and take the guy down,” McKee said. “But it’s not want the fans want to see, so I can understand both sides to the story. Especially for the organization’s sake and the entertainment aspect of it, but it’s not a lot of people that have that warrior’s mentality. Like, I’m going out on my shield. For myself, open scoring would be ideal, just to know where I lie in the fight and how things are going.”
He continued, “That doesn’t stop the way that the judges are seeing the fight. It just tells the fighter where they lie within the fight. I think it just gives a little bit more control back to the fighters in being able to capitalize on the opportunities.”
Ex-Bellator champ A.J. McKee: Open scoring ideal, gives fighters ‘opportunity to dig deep’