MMA Unified Rules Under Fire

In a letter recently provided to the SB Nation’s Bloody Elbow blog dated July 6th, the Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP), requested the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) stop telling people they approved of rule changes they actually have “concerns” about, and provide a written statement making that clear to all member commissions.

The controversial rule changes surround surround the definition of a grounded fighter, and the addition of heel kicks to the kidney as a legal move. The ARP’s have not approved these changes, and will not do so until more research into the potential health risks of the changes has been performed.

Several states including Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas have not adopted the new rules, some due to the logistical headaches of changing rules, and others like the state of New Jersey have not adopted them due to safety concerns.

ABC president, Mike Mazzulli, gave the following statements regarding the ARP’s letter.

“I understand where the ARP is coming from; they have to be independent of the ABC and fighter safety is the most important [thing to them], but I do stress to you—and I sent this out to the body—that at no point in the last year has a fight been stopped because of the new rule changes, [or have] the rule changes adversely affected the health of the fighters… We all know the fighters want these rule changes; they all admitted they wanted it, and at no point in the last year has a fight been stopped adversely because of the rule changes. I don’t recall in my 21 years in this combative sports business a fight being stopped because somebody heel kicked to the kidneys on the ground, let alone standing up and kicked to the kidneys… What we should really concentrate on is the dehydration issue and that these kids are fighting dehydrated, which could kill them just as easy.”

For more on this story: Bloody Elbow

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