State Athletic Commissions

Erin WebbShould elbows be allowed? What consists hitting to the back of the head? With different rules in different states, it’s hard to tell. However, a more unified set of MMA rules are being crafted and voted on by the Association of Boxing Commissions in July 2009.

The ABC’s MMA committee; which includes representatives from Nevada, California, North Dakota, Colorado, Ohio, the River Cree Tribal Athletic Commission in Canada and the Mohegan Athletic Unit, which oversees fights at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut; met this past summer to talk about current rules, which ended with several controversial decisions including more weight classes and allowing knees to the head on the ground. After several complaints from promoters, and Nick Lembo, deputy attorney for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and chairman of the ABC’s MMA committee, the ABC decided to review some of the rules and take input from fighters, according to Sherdog.com.

This isn’t only concerning the male fighters. One decision will be on a consistent number of rounds for female fights. Some female MMA fighters have also stated that longer rounds would be beneficial.

The use of elbows in fights may also change. In an interview on “Sportsgeeks” on Blog Talk Radio, fighter Felice Herrig stated her opinion on barring elbow strikes. “You can get cut with an elbow so easily,” Herrig commented. “It takes you out of the game for so long (of time).” Herrig also added,”You can dominate a fight and you can get caught with an elbow which ends the whole fight.”

An ABC subcommittee consisting of coaches, referees, and former fighters are currently looking over these rules and taking fighters input. Committee members includes UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner, Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker, Renzo Gracie, and John McCarthy. All are available for your comment and suggestion of the rule changes. A final decision on a new set of unified rules will take place in Montreal in July 2009.

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