The UFC boss feels that due to the consistent incompetence of judging and refereeing in MMA, calls made in the cage need to be as accurate as possible. If it means using instant replay to review a certain situation, White is all for that and believes it makes sense for the sport.
“I’m with you on the instant replay,” White replied when asked about instant replay in MMA on a recent edition Inside MMA on AXS TV. “Every other major sport has instant replay. Fighting needs to do it. Especially with how bad the officiating has been: judges and reffing. Instant replay — that’s it.
“They got this thing with combat sports, these athletic commissions have this thing where it’s like, once a guy makes a decision, it can’t be overturned.”
White has pulled no punches about his feeling on refereeing and judging over the years. The opinion of the UFC president has been very public, as he has sounded off on the subject countless times. However, even with his criticism of refereeing and judging, nothing appears to get better. In fact, due to the UFC producing more shows than ever before and the sport growing each day, every fight is under a microscope and officials cannot make mistakes.
When you have a sport that the referees and judges are forced to make snap decisions in the blink of eye, human errors are going to happen. It’s unavoidable. With that said, White feels the competitors have so much on the line in every fight that if instant replay can be implemented and help minimize the number of mistakes made on the officiating side of the sport, it should be done. White points to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones as the perfect example. Jones’ lone defeat comes by disqualification in a fight many believe he should have won by knockout, but due to the fact there is no instant replay, the call to disqualify Jones could not be reviewed.
“I mean, Jon Jones has a loss on his record that isn’t right,” explained White. “That wasn’t a loss. He should be undefeated right now. We should be able to go out and promote Jon Jones as the undefeated, undisputed light heavyweight champion, but we can’t, because there was a guy reffing a fight that didn’t belong there.”
“In football, if you make a mistake, guys are going to make mistakes. You can’t be in all angles. You can’t see everything. In this sport (which) is so young, there’s a lot of people that are not qualified to judge and ref this sport; that are judging and ref’ing it. Instant replay makes sense and instant replay would be awesome because the thing that people do understand, but some people don’t… Once you make a decision and it’s a bad call, you affect this guy’s life forever. It’s a career changer.”
Of all the states and provinces in North America that sanction MMA, only a select few have introduced instant replay. Even with the option of using the system, some regions have chosen not too. White would like to see every area with MMA sanctioning use instant replay, and at the end of the day it’s not him who is hurt most by bad calls, it’s the fighters.
“When bad calls are made, I call people out and we’re doing everything we can to try to stop this from happening,” said White. “I think it’s one of the worst things that can happen if a guy loses a fight that didn’t really lose that fight. I mean you (Bas Rutten) know more than anybody how hard these guys work, how hard they train, how much they put in to this, and it affects their money, their legacy. It affects everything.”