At UFC on FX 2, Will Tie-Breaker Rounds Bring Sudden Victory to Flyweights, and Sudden Death to Draws?

By Raphael Garcia

Call it overtime, sudden death or sudden victory; no matter the name, extra rounds are coming to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Not only will fans be introduced to the 125-pound weight class during the UFC on FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann card; if a flyweight fight ends in a draw, these fighters will square off for one more round to determine the winner.

This is the first time that the organization will use the format outside of The Ultimate Fighter, where, if after two rounds a fight was scored a draw; those combatants would fight an additional round to see who would move forward in the tournament. With this being a competition to crown the company’s first flyweight champion, the “sudden victory” rounds were introduced for the semifinals, as Demetrious Johnson will face Ian McCall and Joseph Benavidez will fight Yasuhiro Urushitani.

I understand the reasoning behind why UFC execs would want to use the “sudden victory” format when it comes to a tournament style fight. If a bout ended in a draw that would completely destroy the timeline for crowning a champion for the UFC’s newest weight class. However, fight fans should not get excited because the additional round will not affect title bouts. This is a puzzling situation, because if any fight shouldn’t end in a draw, it should be bouts in which a title is on the line. You need look no further than January 1st, 2011, when Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard battled to a hotly-contested draw that stifled the weight class for more than a year.

With the solution to questionable scoring seemingly beyond reach, the “sudden victory” round should definitely be applied to any title fight. I understand that the rarity of a draw makes it hard to justify using the additional round, but what is the harm of having it in place, just in case? Look at what happened to the lightweight division because Edgar and Maynard had to deal with their unfinished business from UFC 125. The rest of the division was left to wait until February of this year before another contender got his shot. The same could easily happen to any other weight class, especially with the growing lack of trust towards the judges.

UFC on FX 2: Alves vs. Kampmann is going to be the debut of the flyweight division on the biggest stage available in mixed martial arts. Viewers can expect back and forth action for 15 minutes, and if a winner is not apparent, then these fighters will go one more round in search of the “sudden victory.”

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