10-8 Criteria Quandary, A Proposed Solution

The grounds for a 10 -8 round are defined by the Unified Rules of MMA as such “A round is to be scored as a 10-8 round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.” Herein lies the problem, “overwhelmingly” is such a subjective word that it can create situations where fighters may lose hundreds of thousands of dollars based on the scoring preferences of certain judges.

So what constitutes “overwhelming”? How do you assign significance to actions if there is no inherent value to any action?

What needs to be set in place are some criteria set in stone that say if you achieve these actions you will receive a mandatory 10-8 round.

In order to come up with this criteria we should use the guidelines the judges score the fight based on, (effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense) to create five significant actions.

The five actions would be:

  • Knockdown
  • Full mount/back control
  • Cut from a legal strike
  • Extended period of top position (over 3 minutes)
  • Overwhelming discrepancy in shots landed

If a fighter can achieve three of these five actions, as well as not have any of them executed against him (defense) , he will be awarded a 10-8 round.

This will not eliminate all bad decisions, but it will remove some of the randomness of 10-8 rounds.

In a sport where fighters are awarded enormous bonuses for victory, sometimes as much as their salary, this system would take some of the onus off of the judges and put it on the fighter where it belongs.


4 thoughts on “10-8 Criteria Quandary, A Proposed Solution

  1. I agree that it needs to happen..but the criteria needs work..example…guy gets clipped..goes down.. and is on bottom fir 4 min but is firing submissions or throwing punches but gets cut from an elbow or punch…how does that constitute a 10-8….there have been very few 10-8 rns in the ufc imo…i honesty would get ride rid of the 10-8 altogether… 10-9 winner and loser of rnd..


  2. If you get rid of the 10-8 round all together, how do you differentiate between a dominant round and a lay and pray round? It would promote stalling and fighters taking rounds off. If the best you can do is 10-9 smart fighters would conserve their energy and fights would be much more boring.


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