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Evolution of the UFC rules


UFC 1 - Although the advertising said there are no rules, there were in fact some rules: no biting, no eye-gouging, and rounds were to last five minutes, although no match in the first tournament lasted that long. Fights ended only in the event of a knockout, a submission, usually signalled by tapping the hand three times on the mat or opponent, or by the corner throwing in the towel. Despite this, the first match in UFC 1 was won by referee stoppage, even though it was not officially recognized as such at the time. Another thing to point out was that on the broadcast the rules stated that groin strikes were banned and that rule was seemingly upheld as no one did any groin strikes.
UFC 2 - Time limits were dropped. Groin strikes were unbanned. Modifications to the cage were added (higher fences and less floor padding.)
UFC 3 - The referee was officially given the authority to stop a fight in case of a fighter being unable to defend himself. A fighter could not kick if he was wearing shoes. This rule would be discarded in later competitions.
UFC 4 - After tournament alternate Steve Jennum won UFC 3 by winning only one bout, alternates (replacements) were required to win a pre-tournament bout to qualify for the role of an alternate.
UFC 5 - The organizers introduced a 30-minute time limit. UFC 5 also saw the first Superfight, a one-off bout between two competitors selected by the organizers with the winner being crowned 'Superfight champion' and having the duty of defending his title at the next UFC.
UFC 6 - The referee was given the authority to restart the fight. If two fighters were entangled in a position where there was a lack of action, the referee could stop the fight and restart the competitors on their feet, in their own corner. In UFC 6 they officially adopted the 5 minute extension to the 30 minute rule which had been used in UFC 5.
UFC 8 - Time limit changed to 10 minutes in the first two rounds of the tournament, 15 minutes in the tournament final and Superfight. Fights could now be decided by a judges decision if the fight reached the end of the time limit. The panel was made up of three judges who simply raised a card with the name of the fighter they considered to be the winner. In this fashion, a draw was not possible since the only two possible outcomes of a decision were 3 to 0 or 2 to 1 in favor of the winner.
UFC 9 - To appease local authorities, closed fisted were banned for this event only. The commentators were not aware of this last minute rule that was made to prevent the cancellation of the event due to local political pressures. Referee "Big John" McCarthy made repeated warnings to the fighters to "open the hand" when this rule was violated. However, not one fighter was reprimanded.
Ultimate Ultimate 1996 This event was the first to introduce the "no grabbing of the fence" rule.
UFC 12 - The main tournament was split into a heavyweight and lightweight division; and the eight-man tournament was abandoned. Fighters now needed to win only two fights to win the competition. The Heavyweight Champion title (and title bouts) was introduced, replacing the Superfight title (albeit matches were still for a time branded as "Superfights").
UFC 14 - The wearing of padded gloves, weighing 110 to 170 g (4 to 6 ounces), becomes mandatory. Gloves were to be approved by the UFC.
UFC 15 - Limits on permissible striking areas were introduced. Headbutts, groin strikes, strikes to the back of the neck and head, kicks to a downed opponent, small joint manipulation, and hair-pulling became illegal.
UFC 21 - Five minute rounds were introduced, with preliminary bouts consisting of two rounds, regular non-title bouts at three rounds, and title bouts at 5 five minute rounds. The "ten point must system" was introduced for scoring fights (identical to the system widely used in boxing).
UFC 28 - The New Jersey Athletic Control Board sanctions its first UFC event, using the newly developed Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Major changes to the UFC's rules included barring knee strikes to the head of a downed opponent, and elbow strikes to the spine and neck. Limits on permissible ring attire, stringent medical requirements, and regulatory oversight were also introduced. A new weight class system was also introduced. This new set of rules is currently the de facto standard for MMA events held in the USA and is still in use by the UFC.
UFC 31 Weight classes are re-aligned to the current standard. Bantamweight moves from 150 to 155 and becomes known as Lightweight. Lightweight becomes known as Welterweight, Middleweight becomes Light Heavyweight, and a new Middleweight class is introduced at 185.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ufc
 

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Defecato, ergo sum
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1,151 Posts
In Sherdog's audio archives, there's an interview with Big John, where he talks about the insanity of some of the early events - like him not being able to stop a fight, and the corners unwilling to throw in the towel, so a fighter could have literally been beaten to death in front of him without him being able to do anything.

He said that several times, he was yelling right at the cornerman "throw your towel, throw your towel!" - and they shook their heads and threw it on the ground.

He also talks about how rules about headbutting and groin strikes were instituted to make Ted Turner (if I recall) happy in order to try and get it on his cable channel.

Alright, I found the interview: http://www.sherdog.com/news/radio.asp?ID=470
 

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OG Heavy Hitter
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Great post Norway. :thumbsup:

I saw an article about the rules that was kinda like this in Fight! magazine. Did you see that one? Its got some instances of fighters that would have been breaking the rules nowadays but got away with it then. When I get home I'll dig it out and add it to this thread.
 

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ASS MAN
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In case you've never seen it, watch UFC 4 - hackney vs joe son

This is the reason groin strikes should - no, must be outlawed.
(my balls hurt every time I watch it)
Yeah man that was brutal- I watched that on UFC classics and that is the reason why groin strikes should be dis-allowed. Freaking nasty.

In case anyone forgot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Dz8arDKs4
 

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OG Heavy Hitter
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2,663 Posts
In case you've never seen it, watch UFC 4 - hackney vs joe son

This is the reason groin strikes should - no, must be outlawed.
(my balls hurt every time I watch it)
My balls hurt by you just mentioning it. haha T

hat dirty scumbucket Hackney went for Joes throat too. The move he made on Joe's balls though, that was unforgivable and Keith should be ashamed of himself.
 
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