Courtesy of Head Kick Legend:
In an effort to make fights more exciting and aggressive, as well as increase the action during the 3 minutes x 3 rounds fight, starting from the FINAL 16 for both MAX and WGP, any attacks while holding an opponent with both hands will be prohibited. Fighters will be allowed to grab an opponent with one hand for a moment or grab the neck of the opponent from either outside or inside the opponent’s arm. Despite these moves being considered authorized, if referee considers these moves are defensive or passive and are bringing the fight to a deadlock, a caution or a warning maybe given to the fighter.
Emphasis added. I wrote a while ago about my belief that Semmy Schilt is the best kickboxer of our time, and his knees (or, since K-1 originally banned multiple clinch strikes in another headscratcher, knee) in the clinch are just brutal. Ditto for Overeem. I’m not well versed enough in the history of K-1 to declare that they are or are not changing the rules to favor/punish certain fighters/styles. Read the full rule change below the fold (it appears the single tie collar, aka the most dominant position ever in UFC Undisputed 2009, is subject to the referee’s discretion) and let me bathe in your collective K-1 knowledge.
7. Attacking an opponent while holding a neck of an opponent with both hands is considered a foul technique. A fighter is allowed to attack momentarily when grabbing his opponent with one hand. Referee may call a brake [I think they were going for ‘break here] during a match if the one handed grab does not lead to an effective attack, and may give a caution or a warning if these ineffective single grabbing continues and or if such actions cause deadlock.
8. Passive holding or clinching is prohibited. However, the referee can permit a fighter holding or grabbing his opponent with one hand only when it is accompanied by an authorized attack. A caution and a warning may be given to a fighter even when he is holding with one hand if referee considers this single hand grab or clinch is causing a deadlock or that fighter is trying to avoid attacks.
And in other ‘nobody even cared enough to mention it’ news, DREAM Korea has been canceled.