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After wild UFC 216 result, Bobby Green says judges aren't looking at right things

UFC lightweight veteran Bobby Green would rather hand off judging duties to his fighting peers, biased as they might be, than those professionally tasked to score fights.

“I don’t feel like we have good judges,” Green (23-8-1 MMA, 4-3-1 UFC) told reporters following a split draw against Lando Vannata (9-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) at UFC 216, which took place this past Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. “I can’t even care what the judges think. Sometimes, they’re totally on, and sometimes, they’re totally off. That’s the way it is in our sport.”

Green said he’s gone to the scorecards several times thinking he’d won, only to get bad news. Now, he approaches a matchup with the intention of winning a bonus, so regardless of whether or not the right call is made, he picks up an extra $50,000.

It drives him crazy to think about what the judges are looking at when a fight goes down.

“We don’t get enough credit for who’s pressing the action,” he said. “A lot of times, one guy chases the other guy around, and he ticks and tacks and runs, but he doesn’t get the credit for being the aggressor.

“Even though we say we judge upon aggression and cage control, they don’t give enough credit to those things. Because if I don’t push the fight, there is no fight. We’ll just be standing there looking at each other. But nobody understands that. Until you’ve fought, you wouldn’t understand that.”

This time around, Green actually got a break on scorecards. But it was only because Vannata threw an illegal knee that cost him one point.

At the time he gave his backstage interview, Green was hopeful he’d done enough to earn a bonus. As it turned out, his thrilling 15-minute scrap was one of four $50,000 checks written out at UFC 216, so he couldn’t complain too much about what had transpired.

Still, in an interview Monday on MMAjunkie Radio, he hinted it would have been nice to have been able to win his full purse, rather than the half paid out with no official winner.

“That would be lovely to have a little taste, and have a better opportunity to make more money,” Green said. “I feel the same way, and I’ll bet Lando feels the same way.”

With 10-8 rounds being rewarded more frequently in MMA, the two draws seen at UFC 216 could be a preview of coming attractions. As a solution, some have suggested a tiebreaking round to determine a fight’s winner in the case of a draw at the end of a fight. Green likes the idea, but he has reservations.

“Maybe we could finish it up,” he said. “I was really catching on to what he was doing more, and my punches were more effective. I think that would be awesome if we could have another round. But at the same time, does that constitute more pay? You do want to find a winner, and the crowd wants to see more action.

“But to be honest, they want to see action at the expense of two good guys, to great fighters. Should we get paid more for that?”

If Green is taking more damage, he of course wants to get paid more money. For fighters still working their way to a title shot, that eases the sting of battles endured on the way to glory.

“I’m all down for it,” he said. “You’re asking me to fight more, but are you asking to pay me more? I’m all down for the fight, don’t get me wrong, but there’s two human beings losing their lives. I took shots and he took shots. Every time I get in the cage, you can bet on that.”

Then again, another solution is to simply do away with “win” bonuses, which might do away with the incentive for fighters to take more conservative gameplans in hopes of doubling their paychecks.

According to Green, “that would be the best and the ultimate.” But for now, he’ll just have to keep fighting for those bonuses. The way it sounded, he wasn’t expecting a discretionary bonus that might make up for his win purse.

One thing he did gain, however, was a new comrade. Out on the town after his win, he bumped into Vannatta, who was nursing his own wounds with a drink.

“I gave him a big hug, and I let him know we’re brothers in war,” he said. “That was awesome. I’m down to do it again if he wants to do it again, but at the same time, we should get paid more for doing what we’re going to do.”

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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