MMA Rules Get A Facelift

The Association of Boxing Commissions approved measures modifying the Unified Rules of MMA, covering topics such as judging criteria and clearly defining some existing policies.

The rulings took place at the 28th Annual Association of Boxing Commissions Conference in Las Vegas.

Of note is the grounded fighter policy, which now clarifies that protection from kicks or knees to the head that it provides, now requires any part of the body other than a single hand and feet touching the fighting area floor. To be grounded, both hands and feet, palm/fist down, and/or any other body part must be touching the fighting area floor.

This change is significant as fighters now need to have both hands (or fists) on the canvas to be determined a downed fighter rather than just one hand which allows you to strategically avoid the strike instead of actually being down.

Also among the new rules, the ABC moved to standardize the outfits of female MMA fighters and eliminated loose fitting clothing currently found in some UFC uniforms. The Committee also allowed heel strikes to the kidney, will penalize fighters for outstretched fingers and remove grabbing the clavicle as a foul.

Additionally, the extended fingers rule update now allows referees to declare a foul if a fighter that moves their arm(s) toward their opponent with an open hand, fingers pointing at the opponents face/eyes.

Back to top