The first two months of 2011 delivered two high-profile draws – UFC 125’s Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II and UFC 127’s B.J. Penn vs. Jon Fitch – both of which ushered in a slew of controversy and left their respective divisions in flux.
As a rule, draws generally frustrate fans, almost certainly frustrate fighters and generally cause more confusion than resolution. But can the sport’s governing bodies find some way to improve the current system? At least one UFC champion thinks so.
In this past week’s new edition of HDNet’s “Inside MMA,” MMA legend and show host Bas Rutten addressed a viewer’s email that suggested an overtime round be instituted to resolve draws in high-profile bouts such as title contests and No. 1 contender affairs.
Rutten, a former UFC heavyweight champion and King of Pancrase, thinks the idea is a winner. After all, it’s already used in other combat sports, and the UFC even has a “sudden victory” round in place for its Spike TV-broadcast reality series.
“They do it at K-1 in Japan, and I love that idea,” Rutten said. “Actually, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ does it, too. You fight to a draw, boom, the last [round], whoever wins that wins.”
Edgar, who survived a first-round beatdown against Maynard to battle make to a split draw at UFC 125, was a guest on the new edition of “Inside MMA” and also supported the idea. The UFC lightweight champion now rematches his nemesis at May’s UFC 130 event, but Edgar said he would have preferred to put the situation behind him in January.
“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.