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ABC doesn’t fuck up the Unified Rules

The Association of Boxing Commissions had their annual MMA rules meeting in beautiful New Orleans yesterday, and they managed not to completely fuck everything up this time around. The whole point of the meeting was to sort out overall changes to the Unified Rules. Here’s what they decided:

  • No fucking with the weight classes like last year
  • ‘Back of the head’ now means a thin mohawk strip down the skull and no touchy the necky
  • Optional recovery period of up to 5 minutes for all accidental fouls (like fucking eyepokes, praise Jesus)
  • Handwrap guidelines to keep people from turning their hands into clubs with a shitload of gauze and tape.
  • Greasing rules are in there, including a provision against drenching your fighter in water between rounds.
  • Double knockouts are clarified as technical draws.
  • Commission inspectors are now responsible for making sure fighter fingernails are properly coiffed.
  • The ABC will start approving independant ref and judge certifying programs (hopefully this is specifically talking about Big John McCarthy’s program).
  • “Training should include comprehensive discussions surrounding what constitutes a 10-8 round while also noting that 10-10 rounds are available under the current scoring criteria.” Glad to hear they want judges to start using draw rounds, although as usual when it comes to rule changes I am slightly terrified at it’s prospective mis-use.
  • The ABC states that all commissions should allow women to fight three 5 minute rounds for non title bouts and five 5 minute rounds for titles. Thank Jesus that’s being carried out across the board.
  • Still legal: strikes to the knee,stomping on your opponent’s feet, holding onto your own gloves and/or shorts, powerbombs (considered a takedown)
  • Still illegal: Downward elbows, knees to the head of a grounded opponent, drinking energy drinks before fights,
  • Newly illegal: gripping the fence with your toes to control position
  • Additional moves that are illegal for amateurs: Elbow strikes, forearm strikes, neck cranks, heel hooks, toe holds, all knee strikes to da grill (standing or on the ground), strikes to the knee.

All in all, a pretty productive meeting and way way way better than last year’s attempt which was basically a huge catastrophe that everyone wants to forget about. MMA Junkie’s got the entire 49 page document that has all the updates plus the meeting minutes so you can see who was pushing for what to be banned or allowed. It also has an extended scoring section which is extra interesting … I’ve clipped that out and stuck it after the jump for your perusal.

The Committee maintains that the 10 point must system is still the preferred scoring method at this time.

The 10 point must system is defined as follows:

All bouts will be evaluated and scored by three judges.

The 10-Point Must System will be the standard system of scoring a bout. Under the 10-Point Must Scoring System, 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round and nine points or less must be awarded to the loser, except for an even round, which is scored (10-10).

Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense. Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and
effective aggressiveness and defense.

Effective striking is judged by determining the number of legal strikes landed by a contestant and the significance of such legal strikes.

Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.

Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking; taking down an opponent to force a ground fight; creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to
achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.

Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike or takedown.

Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks.

The following objective scoring criteria shall be utilized by the judges when scoring a round;
1. A round is to be scored as a 10-10 Round when both contestants appear to be fighting evenly and neither contestant shows dominance in a round;
2. A round is to be scored as a 10-9 Round when a contestant wins by a close margin, landing the greater number of effective legal strikes, grappling and other maneuvers;
3. A round is to be scored as a 10-8 Round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.
4. A round is to be scored as a 10-7 Round when a contestant totally dominates by striking or grappling in a round.