Keith Kizer, head of the NSAC has been under attack ever since the highly controversial split decision of of Leonard Garcia over Nam Phan at this past Saturday’s TUF 12 Finale. Phan had seemingly dominated Garcia throughout all three rounds of the bout, but some how Garcia pulled off the win. This sent fans into a frenzy, one such fan and MMA commentator, Joe Rogan had some choice words for the NSAC stating they needed “clean house” as well as accusing the commission of “incompetence.” Keith Kizer gave his feelings on the situation;
“If Joe Rogan wants to get on the air and call people names, that’s his business. I’m not going waste my time responding to that.” commented Kizer.
Kizer also gave his criticism of the UFC;
“They always say that ‘the UFC has nothing to do with judging.’ Well guess what, they’ve got a big fight coming up in Canada called Koscheck vs. Georges St. Pierre – the UFC and Marc Ratner are flying Tony Weeks up there as a judge. C’mon, Joe. How about some honesty? They’ve taken 90% of our officials with them overseas, as they should. That’s not a knock on Dana [White] and Marc [Ratner]; they know what they’re doing.”
Although Kizer didn’t agree with how Joe Rogan handled the issue, he did agree that there is some flaws in the NSAC scoring system, namely on how Tony Weeks and Adelaide Byrd scored the bout (29-28 in Garcia’s favor).
“Yeah, I have a problem with how they scored the third round. Definitely. I mean, they’re both very good judges which makes it all the more surprising.”
Kizer himself mentioned that he scored the fight 30-27 for Nam Phan. And regarding Rogan’s suggestion to “clean house,” he stated;
“There have been judges that we’ve had here who we’ve sent packing. It didn’t work out. Every judge needs to stay sharp, but everyone makes mistakes.”
He also feels that in many cases though, the fans strongly overreact;
“You hear so many people cry ‘robbery’ about this and that. I get emails about it all of the time. I go back and watch the fight, and you say to yourself, ‘What? That wasn’t a robbery. The judges got it right!’”
“A lot of people were saying that about the Rampage vs. Machida fight. Even Dana White said that. You get people who love to overreact. Obviously there are people who want to feel superior than others, trash others. Maybe they are full of some self-hate, some self-pity… maybe that’s Rogan’s piece as well.”
But overall, Kizer feels the judges have scored fights well and do not deserve such harsh criticism
“You treat it like a batting average. Say that you score the first 11 rounds of a boxing match right and you get the last round wrong. Sure, you should have gotten it 100% right, but you’ve got a 94% batting average and that’s not bad. But more often than not, when people complain about the judges, they’re just wrong. They are either wrong in the sense that the judges did in fact get it right, or they are wrong in the sense that it wasn’t a robbery and it could have gone either way.”
“I’ve been getting all of these e-mails saying ‘What’s wrong with you? Phan dominated every round!’ and they’re wrong. You can give Phan that round but you can’t say he dominated. I think MMAWeekly scored that round to Garcia. I think MMAJunkie scored the third round for Garcia. You can’t tell me he ‘dominated’ those rounds.”
But regardless of how the fans and Joe Rogan feel, Kizer stands behind Weeks’ and Byrd’s final decision;
“It’s like that one umpire who ruined that perfect game in baseball. You can’t be more wrong than that. But you ask the players and they think that, other than that, he’s one of the best umpires in the sport. He’s a top-5 umpire. You can’t screw up much worse than that, but you don’t get rid of him either.”