UFC judges to get TV monitors in Vegas
Nevada State Athletic Commission members voted unanimously in favor of allowing the UFC to install 7-inch monitors at judges' seats in all future events during a meeting Friday.
The measure is effective immediately, meaning the screens will be in place inside the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas later this month at UFC 130. Similar petitions have also been passed for upcoming UFC events in Vancouver and Pennsylvania.
According to the petition, the screens are designed "to afford each judge the opportunity to view the action in the limited instances where their direct line of sight is impaired or obstructed for whatever reason."
The feed on the monitors will be the same shown on larger screens suspended around arenas at UFC events. They will carry no audio feed and go black in between rounds.
"The technology will be utilized in the exact same was as the in-stadium boards, it will show the exact same feed," said attorney Michael Mersch, who represented the UFC at the meeting.
"There will be no audio component, so they won't be hearing announcers and be influenced by that. There will be no replays, so judges are not reviewing repeated footage."
The screens will be attached to a moveable arm next to each judges' seat. If a judge doesn't feel comfortable using the technology, each has the option to simply push it aside. All the costs associated with the technology will fall on the UFC.
Monitors have been utilized at three UFC shows in the past. The technology has also been put into effect recently in California.
According to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer, the idea regarding cageside monitors was first brought to the commission's attention "a year ago."
All five members of the board were in favor of the measure, notably Chairman Bill D. Brady, who commended the promotion on its push for the technology.
"I think it's another example of the UFC being on the cutting edge," Brady said during deliberations. "I think they're ahead of everyone else again."
Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.
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