LAS VEGAS — It’s a new day in mixed martial arts.
The 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.
The 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 one abstention. New Jersey was the only state to dissent. Tennessee abstained.
The 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.
There 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:
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Source:: mma fighting