ABC MMA Rules Committee recommends some new rule changes

ABC MMA Rules Committee recommends some new rule changes

The ABC Rules Committee has recommended changes to MMA rules

You might be asking yourself, who is the ABC rules committee?  Or, why should we care that they’re recommending some new rules for the sport of MMA?  Let’s start with who they are.  The committee is made up of former fighters Randy Couture, Jeremy Horn and Matt Hughes. Referees John McCarthy, Robert Hinds and Kevin McDonald are also on board. The final four members are Sean Wheelock, Brian Dunn, Dr. David Watson and Matt Woodruff. Sean Wheelock serves as Chairman. Let’s take a look at the ABC MMA Rules proposals.

Instant Replay

An interesting write-up of this rule, in more detail is available here.  Instant replay in this case, would be utilized in the case that the referee believes a fight ending sequence might have been a result of a foul committed by a fighter.  So when we see a fighter injured or stopped due to what could an illegal knee, the referee will have the discretion to go back to the replay and verify what took place.  If and when the referee goes to replay, they must return with one of four results.

They can either declare a winner if no foul was performed. The referee can rule the fight a no contest if they see a foul.  They’re able to go to the judges for a technical decision or finally, the referee is able to declare a disqualification.

It would be an invaluable tool for referees who are being asked currently to make split second decisions on fouls that at times can not be seen in real time.

The addition of Technical Decisions

Currently the rules state that if a fight ends to an accidental foul, failure of equipment or an act of God it goes to the judges if two rounds are completed in a three round fight, or three rounds are completed in a five round fight.  If the act takes place before then, the fight has been ruled a No Contest.

Boxing utilizes a different set of standards as they go to the judges after four rounds of an eight, ten or twelve round fight.  The recommended changes for MMA would state the fight would only need to have one completed round in a three round fight, or two completed rounds in a five round fight to go to the judges.  Bottom line, the judges could render a technical decision sooner.

Loss of Bodily Function

This one is kind of odd. The new rule would state if a fighter loses the ability to control their own bodily functions, a doctor can be called in to check the fighter.  Sometimes for instance, vomiting can be due to the effects of head trauma.  A doctor would be brought in to verify if a fighter can continue.  If a fighter loses the ability to control his bladder, a doctor can again be called in for consultation.

However, if a fighter loses control of his bowels, the fight would immediately be stopped. That fighter would be ruled the loser by TKO.  It’s a rule that probably won’t come into play very often, but it has happened, and it makes sense.

Hand Wraps and Joint Braces

This gets a little bit technical.  The new proposal would require a maximum of one roll of soft cloth wrap that is no more than 2 inches wide and 15 yards long.  It also specifies one roll of tape, also no more than 2 inches wide, and this time, ten feet in length.  The thumb wrapping would be optional.

All taping of protective gear on the upper body is not allowed.  That said, soft wraps would be allowed for knees and ankles, providing the meet certain guidelines. They must be free of plastic, metal, ties or velcro.

It will be interesting to see which of these rules are implemented.  The group meets in July in Connecticut to vote on rule changes and amendments.