Unified Rules - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
Rate this Entry

Unified Rules

Posted 07-11-2008 at 09:47 PM by

[QUOTE]LAS VEGAS – When the Ultimate Fighting Championship started as a made-for-pay-per-view event in 1993, it was a learn-as-you-go proposition since nobody knew what to expect.

Over the past few years, in attempting to turn whatever it started out as being to a legitimate sport with unified rules and commission regulation, there have been a new set of growing pains. The more popular the sport gets, the more controversies there seems to be regarding judging criteria, referee stoppages and rule interpretations.

Last week, when the Association of Boxing Commissions came up with changes to the unified rules at its Montreal convention, among the many people who had no idea any of this was coming was UFC President Dana White.

"There's going to be a fight," said White when talking about new rules being implemented. "And you know I don't roll over easily."

White unequivocally said they have no intention of changing or adding to the company's current five current weight classes: Lightweight (155-pound maximum); welterweight (170); middleweight (185); light heavyweight (205) and heavyweight (265).

The new unified rules include an ill-thought-out 14 different weight classes, particularly the addition of 215 and 225 pound divisions, which makes little sense with the dearth of quality heavyweights from 205 to 265 pounds to begin with.

"No, we're not following that," he said.

The commissions said that the promotions have the option of doing whatever weight classes they want. But doing so would create an inconsistent sport.

It becomes an interesting game because from Day 1 after taking over the promotion in 2001, Zuffa has attempted to become regulated and fight under commission rules that would be universally recognized.

There were many officials in the previous UFC ownership that weren't thrilled with some of the rules, in particular banning of knee strikes on the ground, that the New Jersey State Athletic Control board implemented in 2000. Those rules have been used as the framework in most new states that have since regulated the sport. But commission regulation, both of which they agreed and didn't agree with, was a necessary evil in the big picture of the sport's survival.

With these new changes, including a ban on putting hands over the mouth or nose, but legalizing the straight up-and-down elbow strikes that had been banned, White believes he's got a new enemy. And it's a referee who at one time was the longest-lasting fixture in the company.

"It's John McCarthy," White said. "He doesn't want to be a referee anymore. Now he wants to change the rules. And he's announcing for Affliction." McCarthy, who retired as a ref last year to join The Fight Network, a Canadian cable station, spoke at the commission meetings, where many commissions, including New Jersey, will interpret blows to the back of the head as being a straight line down the center of the head and the illegal zone would be one inch on either side. However, in California, commission head Armando Garcia said their interpretation of the illegal zone is everything behind the ears.

McCarthy will also be doing commentary for the July 19 Affliction pay-per-view event, a promotion that White has declared war on, to the extent of running a free show on Spike TV head-to-head featuring middleweight champ Anderson Silva.

Whatever the rules are, there needs to be consistency because companies run shows in different states with the same fighters, and being penalized in the middle of a fight for what was perfectly legal in the last fight isn't fair to anyone.

Here is a quick overview of some of the changes.

Illegal blows to the back of a fighters head have been further defined to the “Mohawk” definition - the “crown of the head down the centerline of the skull into the spine, with a 1 inch variance to each side.” This will change recent interpretations of the rule which prohibited strikes from “ear-to-ear.”

All elbow strikes will now be permitted except to illegal areas (groin, spine, back of head, etc…). Previously, all downward striking elbows (12-to-6 strikes) were prohibited no matter what region of the body they struck.
Smothering an opponents nose and mouth to disrupt breathing is now prohibited except for choke attempts where a fighter’s mouth is covered by his opponent’s arm.
Unsportsmanlike conduct fouls were consolidated as was the “fighter recovery period.” Low blows will be given a five minute recovery period, while all other fouls will require a physician to determine if a fighter is fit to continue within a five minute period.

Perhaps the biggest changes to the Unified Rules came in the reassignment of weight classes in the men’s divisions. There will now be a total of fourteen different weight classes as defined below.

Flyweight (up to 105 lbs)
Super Flyweight (105 - 115 lbs)
Bantamweight (115 - 125 lbs)
Super Bantamweight (125 - 135 lbs)
Featherweight (135 - 145 lbs)
Lightweight (145 - 155 lbs)
Super Lightweight (155 - 165 lbs)
Welterweight (165 - 175 lbs)
Super Welterweight (175 - 185 lbs)
Middleweight (185 - 195 lbs)
Super Middleweight (195 - 205 lbs)
Light Heavyweight (205 - 225 lbs)
Heavyweight (225 - 265 lbs)
Super Heavyweight (over 265 lbs)[/QUOTE]

[B]Big changes have come and it seems that no one is taking them serious. Both the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Affliction have stated that they will not follow the unified rules. This is what causes so many problems within a sport that has, is and will always evolve.

I think the UFC should follow the Unified rules. They already allow elbows, now the rule is a little more clear on what is an illegal elbow blow. Unsportsmanship like behavior will be dealt with more properly now. The only problem is the weight divisions.

14? Honestly? Do you need 14 weight division?
Simply. Who cares!

The Unified rules do not say anything about having fighters for every division. The UFC currently doesn't have fighters below 155lbs(Lightweight) or above 265lbs(Heavyweight).

[COLOR="Red"]Flyweight (up to 105 lbs)
Super Flyweight (105 - 115 lbs)
Bantamweight (115 - 125 lbs)
Super Bantamweight (125 - 135 lbs)
Featherweight (135 - 145 lbs)[/COLOR]
Lightweight (145 - 155 lbs)
Super Lightweight (155 - 165 lbs)
Welterweight (165 - 175 lbs)
Super Welterweight (175 - 185 lbs)
Middleweight (185 - 195 lbs)
Super Middleweight (195 - 205 lbs)
Light Heavyweight (205 - 225 lbs)
Heavyweight (225 - 265 lbs)
[COLOR="red"]Super Heavyweight (over 265 lbs)[/COLOR]

Take out the divisions in red and you go from 14 to 8. Still seems like alot.... well not if you look at fighters like BJ Penn, GSP, Anderson Silva and Fedor. These are the top 4 Pound for Pound fighters on the planet, no mater who is 1st or 4th. These are the guys who have the most potential to move up or down in divisions and still dominate. Now look at our remaining 8 divisions but this time with champions:

Penn - Lightweight (145 - [COLOR="royalblue"]155[/COLOR] lbs)
Penn - Super Lightweight ([COLOR="royalblue"]155[/COLOR] - 165 lbs)
GSP - Welterweight (165 - [COLOR="royalblue"]175[/COLOR] lbs)
GSP/Silva - Super Welterweight (175 - [COLOR="royalblue"]185[/COLOR] lbs)
Silva - Middleweight ([COLOR="royalblue"]185[/COLOR] - 195 lbs)
Super Middleweight (195 - 205 lbs)
Fedor - Light Heavyweight (205 - [COLOR="royalblue"]225[/COLOR] lbs)
Fedor - Heavyweight ([COLOR="RoyalBlue"]225[/COLOR] - 265 lbs)*

*For the sake of arguement, fighters are fighting within 2-3lbs of the divisions weight limit at any given time(highlighted in blue).

Now with 8 division, you would still have 4-5 guys as champions. The only difference is the champions would hold 2 belts and some could hold as many as 3.

But then again, it could not workout the way I put it up because we all know how crazy MMA can get. If the Commission really wanted organizations to follow the new rules, they could make it happen.

If I were in charge, I would not allow any sactioned fights in the US unless they followed the new unified rules. No UFC PVPs or events, NO Affliction events, NO any organization. I'd put the MMA world on notice, if you want to be recognized as a legitimate sport, follow the rules.[/B]
Posted in Uncategorized
Views 675 Comments 0 Email Blog Entry
« Prev     Main     Next »
Total Comments 0


Total Trackbacks 0


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome