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ABC to vote on new definition of grounded fighter, new foul to address eye pokes

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LAS VEGAS — Two potential MMA rules changes with particular interest to fans will be voted on Tuesday by the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) body.

The MMA rules and regulations committee presented proposed rule alterations regarding the definition of a grounded fighter and the reduction of eye pokes Monday at the 28th annual ABC Conference here at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. Longtime official John McCarthy spoke for the committee.

In the proposed rule with regards to a grounded competitor, a fighter would need to have both palms or fists touching the mat, or anything else other than the soles of his or her feet touching, to be considered grounded. When a fighter is grounded, a knee or kick to the head against that fighter is an illegal attack.

Currently, the rule states that a fighter is grounded if he or she has any body part other than the soles of their feet touching the canvas. That has led to many fighters doing what officials call “playing the game” — leaning over with a fingertip touching the floor to become legally grounded and unable to legally receive kicks or knees to the head.

With eye pokes a hot topic lately, as well as a dangerous part of MMA, the rules and regulation committee is proposing a rule that states a fighter can be called for a foul if he or she is advancing with fingers extended toward the face of an opponent. Referees will be instructed to clearly communicate this to fighters, much like the foul for grabbing onto the cage. Fighters will be told to close their fists or point their fingers in the air. A fighter who is warned multiple times can have a point taken — like any other foul — if he or she continues to move ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting