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Division among regulatory bodies threatens MMA’s Unified Rules

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LAS VEGAS — MMA’s Unified Rules are on the brink.

On Tuesday here, the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) will vote on multiple proposed rules, including major alterations like revised scoring criteria and an updated definition of a grounded fighter. There is a strong chance the body will approve some, if not all of the changes.

However, some commissions present at the 28th annual conference will vote against these new rules and not adopt them in their respective states even if passed. Other state commissions have not sent any representatives here and are pursuing the development of a rival organization to the ABC.

The result could be a frustrating one for fighters and fans — a situation where the sport’s Unified Rules are fractured and important regulations change state to state.

The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB), which has deputy commissioner Rhonda Uttley-Herring in attendance, is not in favor of the proposed new definition of a grounded fighter or the elimination of heel kicks to the kidney as a foul, NJSACB counsel Nick Lembo told MMA Fighting in a phone interview Monday.

If the ABC body votes to approve those changes, the NJSACB will not follow through and adopt them in its state, which is its right. The ABC does not have authoritative power over state commissions, but merely makes recommendations and gives guidelines.

The proposed definition of a grounded fighter sets out to eliminate what officials have dubbed “playing the game,” when fighters lean down and place a finger tip on the ground to avoid kicks or knees to the head. The current rule states that any part of the body other than the feet touching the ground means a fighter is grounded. The revised rule says that, too, but makes it so that if it’s a hand touching the ground it has ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting