Colorado Instituting Open-Scoring for MMA and Boxing

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The topic of open-scoring as it relates to MMA and Boxing has been one ripe for debate, with many fans, viewers, and pundits wondering just why it’s gone unused on a universal scale in those two sports.

As the name implies, open-scoring permits the fighters and crowd in the arena to see who leads in a fight after a given round of a fight, along with the home viewers watching on television.

Kansas Pioneers Open-Scoring in MMA

Open-scoring has already been used in GLORY Kickboxing for events but has largely been avoided for MMA and boxing, but less than two years ago, the Kansas State Athletic Commission (KSAC) approved open-scoring on a trial basis, effective with the March 6, 2020, INVICTA Phoenix Series 3 card.

Less than one week later, MMA inside the United States, and across the world, was forced into a brief shutdown due to COVID-19, with INVICTA Fighting Championships returning on July 2, 2020, and open-scoring had now become a permanent fixture in MMA fights contested in the state.

The LFA utilized open-scoring during its Kansas residency of events last fall– and since then, it’s been the only US state to employ the use of open-scoring in MMA– until now.

Colorado State Boxing Commission Votes to Approve Open-Scoring in MMA and Boxing

Tuesday reports indicated that the Colorado State Boxing Commission voted to approve the use of open-scoring for boxing and MMA in the state, albeit with one major caveat:

The CSBC noted that the use of open-scoring in boxing and MMA events will be left to the discretion of the promoters holding the cards and is not mandatory at this time.

Earlier this year, the CSBC voted to legalize knee strikes to a downed opponent’s head, utilized by ONE Championship, something that ruffled the feathers of Marc Ratner, the UFC’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, who stated that the UFC would not hold another card in the state with that rule in place.

Transparency the Rationale Behind the Move

CSBC director Tony Cummings explained to ESPN on Tuesday that transparency was the reason behind his commission approving open-scoring in combat sports.

“I think it applies real-time accountability,” Cummings said. “I should be answering questions (about judging) in real-time. I shouldn’t be answering them two or three days later.”

The Unified Rules of MMA presently have no policy on open-scoring, instead of leaving it up to any governing body to determine whether to use open-scoring in combat sports.

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.