fighter visits

Sengoku's judge criteria :How that decision coming

Sengoku is most notable for their strong matchmaking reputation, but one thing that always gets questioned is their judges' decisions.

I have Sengoku's pamphlet with their judging criteria. I'll explain them for those who want to know how they come to their decisions, since they don't use the unified rules.

Sengoku's Judging Criteria

If a fight doesn't finish inside the distance, three judges decide.

The fundamentals are:

1. Damage (Knockdowns, or strikes that give the judges confidence the same damage as a knockdown has taken place. Applied submissions, or "catches", create damage to the body.)

2. Dominance.

3. Aggression.

All three fundamentals are considered, and each round is scored on the ten-point must system. If at the end of the fight, a judge's scorecard is a draw, there is a must system in which a judge awards the fight to the fighter who they feel made the greater impression throughout the fight.

Since it is the ten-point must system, 10-10 round are acceptable (and actually quite common). There is no prioritization of the three fundamentals. There is no explanation about assessing striking volume, so damage is seemingly more important. There is also no explanation of the importance of takedowns, but there may be an emphasis as Sengoku's commission is intertwined with the Japanese wrestling community.

I watched these following three fights ten times each, and based my impressions on the Sengoku judging criteria:


Omigawa was the more aggressive fighter. Damagewise, Omigawa stunned Sandro several times, with Sandro losing balance each time. Omigawa was also the only fighter to
score takedown.


Kanehara succeeded repeatedly on his takedown attempts. Damagewise, I think Jung offered more, but at the same time, Kanehara wasn't really hurt because he was being hit from the bottom.


Golyaev did more damage, but Gomi succeeded with his takedowns, and was more aggressive.

I felt Sandro, Jung and Gomi all won their fights, but I didn't think any of the bout were the "Robbery of the Year." Of course, the decisions are questionable, but after finding Sengoku's judging criteria, it makes more sense. Hopefully you can consider them, and not just assume it's hometown favoritism with the judging.

I also want to point out how Japanese people felt about these fights, as these judges decisions were questioned in Japan, too. Kanehara-Jung was the most criticized. Omigawa's aggressive, forward attitude made an impression on live spectactors, compared to Sandro's passive attitude. However, in Kanehara-Jung, most spectators felt Jung won due to his damage from strikes.

There is a contradiction in these decisions. If Kanehara won against Jung, Fabricio Monteiro should have won the decision against Nick Thompson. Of course, people judge fights themselves, so there will always be discrepencies, but if Sengoku can at least create a central tendency for their judges and criteria, there can be transparency.

Big thanks to Jordan Breen for English support.

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