MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White believes there should be instant replay in mixed martial arts (MMA) in order to minimize the mistakes made by the referees and judges.
White is known to be very vocal about his criticism of referees and judges, often tweeting his disagreement about a judge’s score or about a referee’s action during a fight.
In an interview with Inside MMA that was transcribed by MMA Mania, White explained his belief that implementing instant replay will help minimize these mistakes.
“Every other major sport has instant replay. Fighting needs to do it,” White said. “Especially with how bad the officiating has been, with the judges and the reffing.”
White pointed out that in combat sports, athletic commissions have ruled that decisions cannot be overturned.
“It’s insane. Guys are going to make a mistake. You can’t be at all the angles. You can’t see everything,” he said. “This sport is so young. There’s a lot of guys that are unqualified to ref and judge this sport.”
White said instant replay will help the officials in making the decisions that could spell the difference between a win and a loss.
“The thing that people don’t understand is, once you make a decision, and it’s a bad call, that’s this guy’s life, forever. It’s a career changer,” he said.
“You make a mistake in a baseball game, and there will be 190 more opportunities to make up for it. They will be okay. You make a mistake in fighting, and it hurts this guy immensely,” White added.
“It has to get better. If it doesn’t everybody is in trouble. I consistently call people out, and we’re doing everything we can to try and stop this from happening.”
White noted that one fighter who has been the victim of bad refereeing is UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
The only loss in Jones’ record came when he was disqualified against Matt Hamill at The Ultimate Fighter finale for using illegal elbow strikes.
“Jon Jones has a loss on his record that isn’t a right. That wasn’t a loss,” White said. “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,” he said.
White said he is hopeful that instant replay will one day be widely implemented in the UFC.
“Instant replay makes sense, and it would be awesome,” he said.