The Kansas Athletic Commission, under the umbrella of the Kansas Department of Commerce, has been one of the more progressive and involved regulators when it comes to making novel changes in combat sports.
One of the novel steps the Commission has taken was introducing open scoring to Mixed Martial Arts. Open scoring simply reveals the score to the fighters and the audience after each round. Instread of being kept a secret to the end each fighter knows exactly where they stand on the scorecards should the bout go the distance. A critisism some raise of open scoring is it could lead to boring fights with the scorecard leader simply looking to play it safe in the final rounds knowing they are up on points.
Today, the Kansas Athletic Commission released their data to date revealing this concern is not borne out by the evidence. Instead the evidence shows the winning fighter often goes on to finish the bout despite knowledge that they are up on the judges scorecards. This data refuting the concerns of some may go a long way in having other regulators consider also adopting open scoring.
Post Real-Time Scoring (9 LFA and 5 Invicta)
Finishes: 48 Fighter Ahead: 14 – 29% Fighter Behind: 6 – 12.5% Tied: 2 – 4.2%
First Round: 26 – 54.2%
22 Finishes not first round:
Second round – 14 total – 29.2% Ahead – 9 Behind – 5
Third round (all final round) – seven total – 14.5% Ahead – 5 Behind – 0 Tied – 2
Fourth round – one total – 2% – Invicta Title fight Ahead – 0 Behind – 1 Tied – 0 Fifth round – 0
This can be contrasted with the 10 shows pre real time scoring in Kansas which had the following data
Pre Real-Time Scoring: Invicta (8), LFA (1), UFC (1)
Finishes: 30 Fighter Ahead: 9 – 30% Fighter Behind: 2 – 6.7% Tied: 0 First Round: 19 – 63.3% 22
Finishes not first round:
Second round – 7 total – 23.3% Ahead – 5 Behind – 2
Third round (all final round) – 4 total – 13% Ahead – 4 Behind – 0 Tied – 0
The following spread sheets were released with the full data contrasting the pre and post open scoring results:
Executive Director Adam Roorbach summarized the data via email as follows:
Having just finished our LFA residency, just wanted to send an update on our tracking of Real Time Scoring (RTS). I am attaching the spreadsheet with the numbers listed below, and that is a combination of tweets that were sent out. If you have any questions send me and email!
Fighter up 2 points on 2 cards winning the final round on at least 2 cards – Pre RTS using Invicta (49 fights), LFC (10) and UFC (13), 65.4% (17/26) of fighters won final round. Using RTS with LFA (69 fights) and Invicta (23), fighters won the final round at a 72.4% (21/19) clip. Looking at finish percentage, Invicta (37%pre and 35%post) and LFA’s (60% pre and 58% post) stayed relatively the same. In the 48 total finishes, 54% happened in the first round using RTS, with 63% of 30 finishes happing in the first before RTS . The fighter finishing was ahead in the fight 81% of the time before RTS (9/11), but only 63.7% (14/22) after RTS (2 tied – 9.1%). Finishes in just the second round saw the fighter ahead win 71.4% (5/7) of the time before RTS, but that fell to 60% (9/15) using RTS. Third round finishes saw 100% of those ahead pre RTS finishing winning, while 71.4% (5/7) won after RTS with two fights being tied.