Posts Tagged ‘Ricardo Almeida’

Tom DeBlass: Retired from MMA, about to follow coach Almeida’s path into judging

Former ROC champ and UFC middleweight Tom DeBlass

In an act of selflessness, Tom DeBlass retired from MMA, for now anyway.

In less than three years DeBlass (Twitter @TomDeBlass) acquired two Ring of Combat belts (heavyweight and light heavyweight) and compiled 7-0 MMA record before making it to the UFC and suffering his first career setback.

Making his UFC debut on just more than a week’s notice in Sweden, the New Jersey native lost a majority decision to Cyrille Diabaté at “UFC on Fuel TV 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva.”  He followed the performance up with a hard-fought decision loss in his middleweight debut against Riki Fukuda, a combatant DeBlass thinks highly of, at “UFC on Fuel TV 6: Franklin vs. Le.”

Neither defeat is anything to be ashamed of, and at 30-years-old, DeBlass is only getting better.  Though, he is improving daily and could definitely have a successful mixed martial arts career if he stayed in the sport, the former ROC light heavyweight champ decided to take the altruistic route.

“It’s tough,” DeBlass told MMADiehards.com.  “It’s tough to walk away from MMA because I know I have so much to give, but at the same time I have to look at the big picture.  It’s not all about me and I have to realize what’s important.

“I don’t want to be one of these guys four or five years from now chasing a dream.  I don’t want to look back and my daughter is 6-years-old, I lost students in my academy because I wasn’t there for them, I have students that could be champions but aren’t because I didn’t pass on my experiences.  I have the opportunity to do that now, so why not do that?”

DeBlass said his original plan never had intentions of becoming a professional mixed martial artist.  Six months prior to his MMA debut, the Ocean County BJJ instructor was content doing battle in the ADCC’s.

DeBlass’ desire to compete is what drove him to test his mettle in MMA and he said he loves the sport, however, following the loss to Fukuda isn’t the first time he pondered retirement.

“I was thinking about retiring before this fight,” DeBlass admitted.  “I saw the affect it had on people around me.”

DeBlass said, likewise to friends and family suggesting he should continue competing, there were an equal amount encouraging his choice to retire.  But, no matter what their opinion, they all supported his decision and understood his reasons.

Now out of the cage, DeBlass has stepped away from competing in mixed martial arts, but not entirely separated from the sport.

“I talked to Nick Lembo (Counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board) and I’m going to be the second UFC fighter to ever judge an event,” DeBlass explained.  “That’s behind my teacher Ricardo (Almeida).  I’m getting into judging, I’m going to judge an event, I’m going to be competing in jiu-jitsu.  I’m still around.

“I’m jumping right back into grappling competitions.  I’m jumping right into Abu Dhabi trials (next spring).  Dean Lister just won the Abu Dhabi at 36-years-old, I’m only 30.  I’ll compete in the black belt No-Gi competition.  I’ll still be there with my teammates.  I’ll be there next week helping my teammates prepare.  I’m not going to stop training, I’ll be cornering my teammates, I’m staying in shape.  You know, nothing has changed there.”

DeBlass said he is thankful to have experienced what MMA has had to offer, as he is grateful for his support staff through all his life decisions.  His soon-to-be wife Delilah, mom, dad, coaches Almeida, Mark Henry and Matt Pletcher, as well as the students in OCBJJ have supported him as he exits the sport.

And they’ll be the same people rallying behind him if he returns.

“Sure, the talent is there if I decide to come back, but MMA is so fickle no one knows what can happen,” DeBlass said.  “I made my decision and am doing what’s best for me now and I can’t regret that.  Down the road who knows what will happen.  I’m crazy, man.  Don’t be surprised if you do see Tom DeBlass fighting again.”

Ricardo Almeida: UFC 150 judges “They were incompetent or biased”

UFC fighter-turned-MMA judge Ricardo Almeida

Ricardo Almeida, now an MMA judge after a career fighting in the UFC, has a theory for the controversial judges’ decision surrounding the main event at UFC 150 and a solution to prevent it from reoccurring.

Almeida (Twitter: @Almeidabjj), cornerman and coach to Frankie Edgar, stood behind “The Answer” at UFC 150 and witnessed a judges’ decision that left him dumbfounded.  Judge Tony Weeks gave the bout to Edgar with a score of 49-46, as did most of the MMA community.  Meanwhile, judges Dave Hagen and Mark Van Tine sided with UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson, awarding him the match with equal scores of 48-47.

While everyone wonders how in the world a professional mixed martial arts judge could have made such a massive error in ruling, Almeida has a few theories on what may have affected the scoring of Henderson vs. Edgar 2.

“For Ben Henderson, it was almost like a homecoming for him,” Almeida told Jason Kelly and Bob Badders on MMA DieHards Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “These people seen him fight as an amateur.  He lived in Colorado, he fights in Colorado, and these are Colorado judges.  These guys have probably seen Ben Henderson fight as an amateur.  I’m a judge too.  All the fights that involve people I know or people I am associated with, I don’t judge.  For a fight of this magnitude, to have a guy like Henderson go in there, who is a local guy, and we see a decision like that.  What is the explanation?

“Number one is what were these guys watching?  Were they unqualified?  Were they bias?  Which one?  Because it had to be one of them.  Did they just not watch the fight?  Were they just playing hometown favorites?  (In the) first fight I could see how a judge would give the fight to Henderson; in this fight I just don’t see it.  Either these guys were incompetent or biased.”

Almeida is not alone in his belief that Edgar won the contest.

The general consensus from fans, media and even Edgar’s peers is that he should have left the Octagon following UFC 150 with the belt strapped around his waist.  Social media outlets such as Twitter exploded with messages from Edgar’s followers disputing the outcome.  UFC fighters like Michael Bisping and Nick Catone, amongst others, verified that they too believed the judges were mistaken in their decision.

Even though, Henderson and Edgar’s first match at UFC 144 had speculation that “The Answer” should have won, Almeida is having trouble finding anyone to agree with the outcome of their meeting at UFC 150.

“Going back to their last fight, they had it split down the middle,” Almeida said.  “50 percent of people thought Frankie won and 50 percent of people thought Ben won.  I haven’t heard anybody say Henderson won this fight.  I have the people I follow on Twitter, most of them are my close people, I don’t really have access to people that aren’t close to me, but I haven’t seen one news article come out saying Henderson won and everybody is crazy.”

Almeida said it’s difficult to score a fight that involves a guy that competes in the fashion that Edgar does.  Edgar has the ability to move in quickly, land three or four punches and retreat from harm’s way without taking much damage.  Almeida thinks judges are fooled when they see Edgar get grazed with a punch or kick on the way out.  Even though, Edgar hit his opponent more times during the exchange, it’s the blow he receives backing out of the scuffle that judges notice most.

The Fight Metric totals were made public and evidently show that Edgar outpointed Henderson in their UFC 150 main event battle.  It appears the judges scored the bout wrong in every aspect, from strikes landed to takedowns and control.

Almeida said he realizes it is going to take some time before MMA receives the adequate judging it desires, but he has a suggestion that would increase education and decrease favoritism at the scorers table.

“You have these referees that travel around, like Herb Dean, Dan Miragliotta, they travel around because they are the best referees in the business,” Almeida said.  “Why not have a pool of 15 judges that travel around like those guys and judge the fights?  Instead of having these half blind, half biased judges that are constantly messing with people’s career.

“Losing a fight like that impacts Frankie’s career.  Financially it impacts him.  (Lightweight) or (featherweight), what’s next for him?  Just like the referees, we should do with the judges.  The more people do it the more they will learn and the less bias they will be.  Have a pool of 15 – 20 guys or however many it takes.”

MMA DieHards Radio: Ricardo Almeida, Jospeh Henle

 

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Hosts Bob Badders and Jason Kelly will be joined by former UFC fighter-turned-MMA official Ricardo Almeida (Twitter: @Almeidabjj).  Also joining us will be Joseph Henle (Twitter: @leonidasmma), who defeated Luke Harris, Friday at MFC 34 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The victory places Henle in a title match against Elvis Mutapcic for the vacant MFC middleweight belt at MFC 35 in October.

We will also discuss UFC 150 and the controversy surrounding the evening’s main event between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar.  Then we will jump ahead and preview “Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman,” which takes place Aug. 18 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Calif.

Other news, notes and highlights from the past week of MMA will be covered as well in this episode of MMA DieHards Radio.

Twitter MMA: Best of the Week for Aug. 6 – Aug. 13

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

You never begged me to retire @danawhite you must not love me. That’s a shame, I love you. Cont..

Dana White ‏@danawhite

@mayhemmiller lol retire Mayhem I’M BEGGIN U!!!

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

Kill yourself @danawhite we are all begging you.

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite I think you misunderstand. I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I put my energy into the wrong efforts, cont

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite and now my life is shaping up into exactly what I want it to be. Howabout I fight that fight that Tito “ducked” out of cont

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite and now my life is shaping up into exactly what I want it to be. Howabout I fight that fight that Tito “ducked” out of cont

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite but we will do three rounds in @lorenzofertitta‘s other cage. The one where you get to wear a shirt. I know you are a cont

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite .a bit insecure about taking your shirt off now that you have implemented random drug testing-but I think you look great-Love You

 

Dana White ‏@danawhite

@mayhemmiller u never won 1 fight in the UFC and ur last 2 showings were embarrassing to say the least.

 

Dana White ‏@danawhite

@mayhemmiller call me

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite my feelings are not hurt. I feel closer to human than ever. There are no exclaimation points here.

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

@danawhite no need for phone calls. I appreciate the car. The money I use to feed the people I love, thank you. When you are ready, cont

 

Jason Mayhem Miller ‏@mayhemmiller

Hey @danawhite here is an ancient ancient video you may enjoy.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY0wkZHU83c see you at my next show !?!

 

Luke Thomas ‏@SBNLukeThomas

Frank Trigg Arrested on Charges of Domestic Violencehttp://sbn.to/OYLVf8

 

Ben Askren ‏@Benaskren

@franktrigg I would love to put you to sleep sometime, you figure out how to stop a RNC yet?

 

FRANK TRIGG ‏@FRANKTRIGG

@Benaskren hope never have don’t really need to for you. #Trigg150

 

FRANK TRIGG ‏@FRANKTRIGG

thanks for the talks gentlemen @MikeStraka and @MarkPavelich

 

Mike Straka ‏@MikeStraka

@FRANKTRIGG @MarkPavelich I’m your friend Frank. Period

 

Mark Pavelich ‏@MarkPavelich

@MikeStraka @franktrigg Trigg I’m down good or bad all you fake biatches hide when the shit hits the fan. Much love for @FRANKTRIGG #MFC

 

It’s not “catch weight” it’s a “grudge weight.” I’ll fight him at a GRUDGE WEIGHT OF 200lbs. I don’t care about him enough to cut to 185.

 

Jon Bones Jones ‏@JonnyBones

Blessed to be signed by the biggest sports apparel company in the world#NIKE Dreams do come true

 

SHAQ ‏@SHAQ

Ben henderson looks unsubmittable great fight @danawhite

 

Nick Catone UFC ‏@NickCatone

@FrankieEdgar still the champ in my bookIm so disgusted right now!@ufc #MMA , judges blew that one.

 

michael ‏@bisping

Throwing it out there...... I thought @FrankieEdgar won the fight

 

Ricardo Almeida ‏@Almeidabjj

@CesarGracieBJJ @renzograciebjj now it’s @NateDiaz209 turn! We will all be rooting for him!!

MMA Judging Turns the Corner with Ricardo Almeida

UFC veteran Ricardo Almeida made his major-event debut as an MMA judge at UFC on FOX 3.

Saturday May 5 was one of Ricardo Almeida’s toughest days since he announced his retirement from mixed martial arts just over a year ago.

Almeida was making his major-event debut as an MMA judge for UFC on Fox 3 at East Rutherford, N.J.’s Izod Center, but that wasn’t what had him on edge. And it wasn’t that he was the only judge to score the razor-close Johny Hendricks-Josh Koscheck fight for Koscheck, or even that he initially drove to Newark’s Prudential Center by mistake.

“I’ve been near the Octagon cornering Frankie (Edgar) and Tom DeBlass since I retired but this time around, sitting so close to the Octagon in the judges’ seats, you think about getting back in there and fighting again,” Almeida said during his appearance on Darce Side Radio with Mike Steczkowski on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.

“It was hard, but I look back at everything I did and it was a learning experience for me,” said Almeida of his MMA career. “I am grateful for making a lot of friends that I still get to see because I’m still involved. The UFC treats me like gold and I feel good about it. It’s time to move on and do other things.”

UFC President Dana White has made no secret about his frustration with current MMA judging and has pushed for former fighters to become judges. Almeida is at the forefront of the movement and is, of course, highly qualified. High-level MMA promotions are all that Almeida, a third-degree BJJ blackbelt under Renzo Gracie, has known in his career. He’s fought only for Pride, Pancrase and the UFC, amassing a 13-5 record. The thought is that former fighters see things current MMA judges, whom come mostly from a boxing background or perhaps kickboxing, don’t recognize.

“I think it’s great and I would love to see more – not just fighters – but coaches too giving back to the sport a little bit,” Almeida said.

The prospect of former coaches judging is an interesting point. Who is involved more in the technical aspect of the sport as much as them? But, as Almeida pointed out, the plan that makes sense on the surface can’t be implemented across the board.

“I talked to a couple of fighters who would like to judge but I don’t think every fighter can be a judge,” Almeida said. “Coaches are very involved in the sport on a daily basis so I would like to see some of them.”

When Almeida retired in March 2011 following his loss to Mike Pyle at UFC 128 he had no intention of becoming a judge. His life now would be consumed by his family and very successful BJJ academy, along with supporting teammates such as Frankie Edgar. Living, teaching and training fighters from New Jersey, Almeida always had a close relationship with New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Counsel Nick Lembo. One thing led to another and all of the sudden Almeida was in the judge’s seat.

“It all just kind of happened,” Almeida said. “Nick Lembo is someone I’ve been very close with and worked with over the years and it was a no-brainer to take part in it. It’s a great opportunity for me to give back to a sport that has given me so much.”

Almeida was a judge for Bellator events 49 and 59, but UFC on Fox 3 represented his first judging opportunity for the UFC. He personally scored the John Hathaway-Pascal Krauss, John Dodson-Tim Elliot, Michael Johnson-Tony Ferguson and Josh Koscheck-Johny Hendricks bouts. The one people were talking about after was the Koscheck-Hendricks title, which Hendricks won via split decision to earn a welterweight title shot. There were articles solely dedicated to Almeida being the only judge to score the fight for Koscheck, but not in a negative manner. Everyone wanted to know how the new, more-qualified judge saw things and if he was actually the only one to correctly score the fight.

“I feel though I’m the only judge to give it to Koscheck it wasn’t a controversial decision,” said Almeida, who isn’t allowed to speak in-depth about a fight he scored. “It was just a close fight that could have gone either way.”

Almeida is right when he says not every fighter is cut about to be a judge. He is the kind of person perfect for the job, however. Aside from being well-respected across the board, Almeida is more than just a retired fighter. As a professor he is involved in the sport from dusk ‘till dawn.

“I’ve always been a teacher first and that’s why I still do it,” Almeida said. Presenting people with their white belt and then 8, 10 years later handing them their black belt, I love doing that and I’ll do it until the day I die.”

“I’ll retire when I expire.”

Fighters always talk about not putting the fight in the judges’ hands. But when a scrap does go the distance, a man with as much passion as Almeida is the guy you want making the call.

Darce Side Radio: Michael Chandler, Ricardo Almeida, and Stephen Koepfer,

Michael Stets breaks down the latest in MMA news.  Stephen Koepfer the head of NYMMA Now coalition stops by to talk about NY MMA not making it to the assembly floor.

Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler talks about his recent win over Akhiro Gono.

Ricardo Almeida comes on to discuss being an MMA judge, and cornering Frankie Edgar.

Listen to internet radio with MMA DieHards Radio on Blog Talk Radio

Rear Naked Choke Radio LIVE at Bellator 59: Bjorn Rebney, Zach Makovsky, Ben Askren, Mike Straka, Ricardo Almeida

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Rear Naked Choke Radio streams live on MMADieHards.com from Cesars Atlantic City in N.J. before Bellator 59, as Joe Rizzo and Matt Leung are on location.

The guest list is packed.  Sitting in the hot seat are Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney (Twitter: @BjornRebney), bantanweight champion Zach Makovsky (@ZachFunSize), welterweight title holder Ben Askren (@BenAskren), Mike Straka (@MikeStraka), and Ricardo Almeida (@AlmeidaBJJ).

The last time at Cesars we broke the news about Kurt Pellegrino’s signing with Bellator, then had him on the show. He fights Patricky “Pitbull” Freire at Bellator 59.  Rebney also gave us a bit of news this time, as well.

Rear Naked Choke Radio streams live from LA Boxing in Paramus, N.J. on MMADieHards.com Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. ET (unless otherwise noted) and is part of the MMA DieHards Radio Network. If you cannot catch the live stream, it is available on demand RIGHT HERE shortly after completion of the broadcast. We’re also available on iTunes and TalkShoe.

Rear Naked Choke Radio: Kurt Pellegrino comeback exclusive, Zach Makovsky, Brent Weedman, Ricardo Almeida

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Rear Naked Choke Radio comes atcha live from cageside at the Bellator 49 event at Cesars Atlantic City in New Jersey with an exclusive interview with Kurt Pellegrino as he comes out of retirement to fight in Bellator.

Joe Rizzo and Maggie Krol welcomed in Pellegrino, who will take on Patricky “Pitbull” Freire on Nov. 26 at Bellator 59.  The event also will be held at Cesars Atlantic City.

Kurt’s wife, Melissa, started off the show and then Bellator 135-pound champion Zach Makovsky took over.  Tune in to hear his controversial statement about Philadelphia Fight Factory teammate Tara  LaRosa.  Brent Weedman took time to sit in with Joe just hours before his fight, and then Ricardo Almeida came on to talk about his retirement, the possibility of coming back as a fighter and his new life as an MMA judge.

Rear Naked Choke Radio, hosted by Rizzo and Jeremy Fullerton, streams live with video from LA Boxing in Paramus, N.J. on Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 PT (unless otherwise noted).  If you did not catch it live, it’s available on demand RIGHT HERE shortly after completion of the broadcast.

Ricardo Almeida: An Evolution in Officiating

picture: Hector Castro/MMADieHards.com

Unnecessary stand-ups, premature stoppages and extremely controversial decisions in fights that appear to have a clear-cut winner.

For years, mixed martial arts fans have been complaining about these and other issues with the sport’s officiating and judging, but little has been done to improve the situation.  The belief exists that when people who truly understand the sport – former MMA fighters, for example – assume the roles of judge and referee, we will see proper outcomes in matches that would previously have gone awry.

The tide may finally be turning and the person at the forefront of the effort to bring about change is just-retired UFC welterweight Ricardo Almeida.  But Almeida wouldn’t be in a position to positively influence the way the sport is officiated had it not been for another man, Nick Lembo, who was instrumental in recruiting Almeida.

“I’m involved with the regulatory aspect with the athletic control board,” Lembo, Counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB), explained to MMADieHards.com.  “I’m involved with selecting judges, referees and officials and training those officials.”

Once Almeida retired from actively competing in mixed martial arts, Lembo and NJSACB commissioner Aaron Davis were quick to jump on the chance of acquiring the former fighter and making him a part of the control board.

“He’s been a fixture as a fighter, and as a trainer, and school owner from right here in Jersey,” Lembo said.  “We thought with that background he would be a valuable asset to have as an official for the state athletic board.”

Almeida verifies that the NJSACB wasted little time approaching him with a job offer once he had retired.

“Nick Lembo from the athletic commission called me right away,” Almeida said.  “He asked me if I wanted to get involved in judging or refereeing.  I said, ‘Oh Nick, I don’t know about refereeing, but I can definitely help out with judging.’  I just want to give back to the sport a little bit.”

Almeida did not have to ponder over Lembo’s offer for long, as he thinks very highly of the NJSACB and all they have done to improve and grow the sport of MMA.

“I’ve known Nick for years,” Almeida said.  “They’re a very proactive athletic commission, they helped draft the first unified mixed martial arts rules, they have a phenomenal amateur program and they consulted a lot of fighters when they went to come up with amateur rules.  I believe they New Jersey State Athletic commission is the reason why we have such a strong MMA community in Jersey.”

Almeida has a school and students under him who actively compete, so this is not the occupation the Brazilian envisioned himself pursuing after fighting.

“I never really thought about it until Nick called me,” Almeida confessed.  “Nick said they would love to have me on board and I thought, ‘Sure why not?’  Now I can be involved with pushing the sport in the right direction, so I’ll start as a judge and see where it goes from there.”

The former UFC welterweight is happily accepting his role as a judge, but he still does not see refereeing in his future.  Even though the NJSACB has some of the best referees in the game, Almeida knows how daunting the role can be.

“I don’t really want to be a referee,” Almeida confessed.  “As far as getting in the Octagon, I really don’t see that, but I’m not ruling that out.

“Man, refereeing is a really tough job.  You do a real good job and no one talks about it, but they are always going to talk about what you mess up.  Referees we have here in New Jersey like, Kevin Mulhall and ‘Big’ Dan (Miragliotta) are some of the best referees in the business and that’s because of how good the athletic commission is and the amount of fights we have here.  Some of the other commissions only get to ref when the UFC is in town and that’s why you get these bad calls and bad decisions and bad stand-ups.”

Considering Almeida’s position as a gym owner and a coach to fighters, there will obviously be a conflict of interest if he were to judge any of his students’ fights.  It’s something that makes his role as a judge or referee susceptible to allegations of corruption.

“I do have some concerns about people making comments on various websites about conflicts,” Lembo stated.  “Obviously Ricardo wouldn’t be judging his students’ fights or Frankie Edgar; he’s not going to be working those fights.”

“If I’m a referee, I can’t really be coaching and that defeats the point of fighting in the first place,” Almeida explained.  “Of course, I’m not going to judge guys on my team, that’s a conflict of interest.  I don’t think the athletic commission would get me to judge one of my guys and I wouldn’t want to do that, I’d want to corner my guys if they were fighting.  I wouldn’t take the position if they offered it to me.”

Almeida is well aware that these criticisms will come his way, but he pays it no mind.

“If I cared what people had to say about me, I wouldn’t have became a fighter in the first place,” Almeida explained.  “Whenever you are in the spotlight people judge you, but I don’t pay attention to it.  They can say what that want about me judging or the refs, but you just have to let it go.”

Almeida agrees with Lembo that he can bring a lot to the table as a judge.  The Renzo Gracie protégé also believes the more fighters that follow his footsteps, the better quality of officiating the sport will receive.

“If there were more former fighters giving educational classes that showed how we need to judge this and how we need to judge that, it’ll be better,” Almeida explained.  “If it was a clean combination or a clean takedown, it scores higher, whereas now when the crowd screams it influences the judges.  I think refs and judges need specific things they need to look at and the more they understand it.  Everyone understands what is happening, but I think for someone who has actually been in there and understands the technical aspect is going to do a better job.

“I’m not saying everyone who judges or refs has to be a fighter, but they should have to at least be practitioners.”

Almeida’s job as a judge was inspired not only by the opportunity to give back to the sport, but also to clean up the sport.

“I think everyone should look at contributing to the future of the sport,” said Almeida.  “The sport only grows when people with passion take the leadership positions and prove it.  If people would treat MMA like their house and cleaned up, then there wouldn’t be as much trash in the house. My goal is to always be the change, in anything I want to see changed.”

Lembo has been with the NJSACB since 1995 and he wants to usher in positive changes in the officiating aspect of MMA, nevertheless, he has already seen a lot of change since he started.

“I remember in 2000 at a middle school, not even a high school,” Lembo explained.  ”Renzo Gracie was the DJ, Bart Vale was a cornerman and Bas Rutten was the referee, so we have came a long way since then.  Bas was actually a terrible referee because he was coaching while he was refereeing saying, ‘That’s not the way you do it.’  It’s funny to look back on how far we’ve come.”

Yes, we have come a long way in a young sport, but like the fighters within the sport itself , we must constantly be improving.  Former fighters crossing over into MMA judging and refereeing will be the biggest factor in improving the flawed outcomes we currently witness.  Thankfully, there is now someone who agrees that is in a position to bring about the necessary changes.

Bellator 39: Eddie Alvarez talks Curran, defending his belt, and Ricardo Almeida

photo courtesy of Eric Coleman/Bellator.com

MMADieHards.com’s Maggie Krol talks with Eddie Alvarez after he successfully defended his title against Pat Curran at Bellator 39.

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