Nevada Approves Majority Of New Unified Rules

The Nevada Athletic Commission has begun the process of adding most of the latest editions to the Unified Rules of MMA, but have left some of the more argued amendments off the table for now.

In October, the commission voted to approve new provisions that included the new Unified Rules of MMA but not the updated definition of a grounded fighter.

Per MMA Fighting, the new regulations need to be finalized with the state’s Legislative Control Bureau and come back to the commission one more time but are likely to pass as state law.

Nevada joins New Jersey, Missouri, and Ohio as states that disapprove of the new definition that was added by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) in 2016. The rules were supposed to go into effect in January of last year, but the grounded opponent definition was a sticking point.

The new definition states that a fighter must have both hands — palms or fists — down on the ground in order to be grounded, unless a knee or anything other than the soles of the feet are also down. If a fighter is considered grounded, then a knee or kick to the head of that fighter is illegal.

The original Unified Rules, written in 2001, claimed that anything by the soles of a fighter’s feet being on the mat constituted a grounded fighter, the rules were changed in 2016 due to many ABC members believing fighters were “gaming” the system and abusing the rule to slow down fights.

“We certainly didn’t agree with the both soles and both hands being down for a grounded opponent,” NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett said. “We have one hand — weight-bearing — with two soles of the feet as the definition. We think that fighters are putting themselves in harms way when they have to put both hands down with both feet.”

Included into the Nevada provisions were the elimination of fouls for heel strikes to the kidneys (from guard, mainly) and grabbing the clavicle.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest of fighters for the rules to be different in different commissions,” Bennett said of the issues of commissions cherry picking rules. “I think it would be a good thing for us to vote on or agree on what’s in the best interest of the fighter. It’s a tough enough sport as it is, let alone having different rule sets in different states.”

 

Initial Report: MMA Fighting

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