ABC body approves changes to MMA scoring criteria, new rules in landslide vote


Ассоциация Боксерских Комиссий изменила правила ММА


Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) approved a package of rules
changes Tuesday that amount to the greatest alterations to MMA\’s Unified
Rules since their inception. The new rules include clearer language for
judging and a redefinition of what makes a fighter grounded.

rules, recommended by the ABC\’s rules and regulations committee and
medical committee, were voted in at the group\’s annual conference by a
vote of 42 to 1 with two abstentions. New Jersey was the only state to
dissent. Tennessee and Mississippi abstained.

Commissions can
implement the new rules right away, but some states have to go through
their legislatures to make changes and that can take longer.

most significant change is more clarity in the scoring criteria, long a
bugaboo for fans and fighters alike. The new scoring language
underscores that effective striking and grappling are the top tier for
judging rounds — and only if those things are equal do you judge
aggression and then cage control.

The definition of a 10-8 round
is also more liberal with the changes, asking judges to look at
dominance, duration and impact (or damage). If a round has two of those
characteristics, a 10-8 should be considered. If a round has all three
of those characteristics, it must be a 10-8 round.

The scoring
language was amended in discussion Tuesday to address the presence of
the word “damage.” New Jersey took issue with that word on a political
and legal level as did others, including Bellator MMA head of regulatory
affairs Cory Schafer. The word damage will still be used in training
judges, but it will not be part of public rules due to the implication.

was also an amendment of the language to reflect that the immediate
impact of strikes is weighed heavier than cumulative impact (or damage).

Before the change from the word “damage” to “impact,” here is what the new scoring language looked like:

The other rules changes, with the official language, are as follows:
Grounded fighter

grounded fighter is defined as: 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. At this time, kicks or knees to the
head will not be allowed.
Extended fingers

In the standing
position, a fighter that moves their arm(s) toward their opponent with
an open hand, fingers pointing at the opponent\’s face/eyes, will be a
foul. Referees are to prevent this dangerous behavior by communicating
clearly to fighters. Fighters are directed to close their fists or point
their fingers straight in the air when reaching toward their opponent.
Female clothing

competitors must wear a short-sleeved (above the elbow) or sleeveless
form-fitting rash guard and/or sports bra. No loose-fitting tops are
allowed. Female competitors will follow the same requirements for bottom
coverings as the male competitors, minus the requirement for groin


The changes also remove two fouls from the MMA Unified Rules: heel strikes to the kidneys and the grabbing of the clavicle.

Jersey did not approve of the new definition of a grounded fighter due
to the potential for further strikes to the head when fighters are in a
defensive position. The state also wanted to keep heel strikes to the
kidneys as a foul because no other combat sport allows blows to the
kidneys. MMA does allow for other strikes to the kidneys, however.

overwhelming medical evidence, we are not in favor of any type of
expansion of striking to the head, let alone a change that would allow
powerful, potent knees to the head of a downed fighter,” New Jersey
State Athletic Control Board counsel Nick Lembo wrote in a press release
Tuesday morning. “We should be wary of the NFL litigation, NHL and WWE
head injury issues, and we should not be hasty with regard to matters
involving the human brain and it\’s well being.”

New Jersey\’s
official dissent was read Tuesday at the ABC Conference by NJSACB deputy
commissioner Rhonda Uttley-Herring. MMA legend Randy Couture, a member
of the rules and regulations committee, rebutted the dissent afterward.

is a likelihood that New Jersey will not adopt the new grounded fighter
definition and removal of the heel kicks to the kidney foul in its
state, as is its right. The ABC does not have authoritative power over
state governments.

It\’s unclear if commissions who did not attend
this conference and are considered inactive members, like Missouri and
Ohio, will implement the rules changes.

Source: mmafighting