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MMA in peril due to Edmonton rule change!

Yesterday I posted about Edmonton’s athletic commission allowing PRIDE style rules (a 10 minute round and a 5 minute round, wrestling shoes, knees to the head on the ground, etc). At first it sounded like they were putting these rules through as a requirement instead of the Unified Rules but it turns out that these are just the rules that have been approved for one event.

Normally you’d think people would be excited that we get some Japanese-rules MMA in North America but instead everyone has turned into gigantic quivering vaginas over the whole thing. The Association of Boxing Commissions is threatening to ‘un-affiliate’ Edmonton’s commission and label them ‘rogue’ … not that the ABC has any power or say in how Canadian commissions are run. Edmonton Sun columnist Murray Greig has a fit across two articles saying stuff like this:

Out of control.

That’s the only way to describe how the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission is kicking off 2010.

The fuse has been lit.

Now it’s just a matter of time before the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission (ECSC) either blows itself up or is blasted back to sensibility and competence.

And everyone else is over-worried that ‘someone will get hurt’ because of these oh so drastic rule changes. But the only slightly worrisome new weapon added to a fighter’s arsenal here are knees to the head of a grounded opponent, which have been around for a long time in Japan without any major injuries. Do these knees magically become more dangerous in Edmonton than they were in Tokyo? And if they’re so dangerous, why isn’t anyone freaking out every time an event in Japan is about to go down? Someone could totally die, people!!!!!!!

Knees to the head on the ground are about as high as you can get on the OMG scale short of headbutts and soccer kicks, but in practice they haven’t shown themselves to be any more dangerous than a knee to the face in the clinch. Everyone knows that the rule is there to make the sport seem less psychopathic to the masses and that’s fine. But let’s not swallow our own bullshit and pretend that allowing it again for one event in Edmonton is endangering the lives of the fighters and the sport of MMA in general.