UFC Star Gilbert Burns Suggests Poor Pay May Be The Reason Why MMA Judges Do Such A Terrible Job

gilbert burns
Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

During an interview this week ranked UFC welterweight star Gilbert Burns offered up some unique reasoning that might explain why MMA judges seem to consistently do a terrible job when scoring fights.

Over the last 30 years, MMA — with the help of the UFC — has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Not only has it become very popular in the United States, but nations like Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and now China are also hotbeds for the sport.

Related: UFC predictions for every fight this Saturday at UFC 300

However, for all the success the UFC and the industry have had in that time, the one thing that continues to follow it around is poor scoring by judges at cageside. For the most part, MMA promotions have little control over judges and they are appointed and paid by local athletic commissions. It is a necessary separation that is meant to help keep legitimacy within the sport.

Unfortunately, there have always been questions about how athletic commissions are run and the training they put in place for fight officials like referees, who oversee bouts in the cage, and the men and women who score fights when they go the distance. With the sport getting more attention than ever, questionable or downright awful scoring has become even more noticeable.

Gilbert Burns claims MMA judges make $300 to $500 to work a UFC event

But putting a finger on why judging can be so consistently poor has led to a lot of debate during MMA’s history. On Wednesday, 29-fight veteran Gilbert Burns added a new layer to the discourse on MMA judging with a financial lean.

“How much do you think those judges make for UFC Apex shows?” Burns said during an appearance on the “Show Me the Money” podcast. “Those guys are making $300 for an event in the Apex and $500 for pay-per-views. You got me thinking, how can you ask the judge to do a great job if the commissions not paying these guys right? The UFC throws a lot of money to the commission.

“The commission comes with the judge but he’s not making zero money. For sure they’ve still got to get the job done but they have to be compensated, just as the fighter. The commission has to step up.”

Gilbert Burn’s information likely is for commission pay in Las Vegas. Which has one of the most powerful athletic commissions in the country. Judge pay could actually be much less in other states where commissions get less funding via events in their region.

While wages shouldn’t be the cause for doing a poor job, it wouldn’t be surprising if it factored into the level of preparation and self-education judges do before scoring MMA events around the US.

Related: How to watch UFC 300 this Saturday night

After earning his journalism degree in 2017, Jason Burgos served as a contributor to several sites, including MMA Sucka... More about Jason Burgos

Mentioned In This Article::

More About: