The recent news of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) approval of four new weight classes in professional mixed martial arts was a big announcement for the future of the growing sport. In addition to the newly approved 165-pound, 175-pound, 195-pound and 225-pound divisions, the ABC unanimously approved of four new recommendations brought to them by its MMA Rules Committee.
ABC rules committee chair Sean Wheelock told MMA Junkie that the four new approved recommendations could be implemented rather quickly as none of them require any current laws or statutes to be changed.
MMA Junkie stated the new recommendations as the following:
- A TKO by medical stoppage if a combatant visibly loses control of a bodily function – vomit, urine, or bowels – during a round. If the loss of control occurs between rounds, a doctor must clear the combatant to compete.
- More strict parameters for using instant replay in MMA. It may not be used for smaller shows that aren’t being filmed, and referees may only use it when a “fight-ending sequence” may have been caused by an intentional or unintentional foul.
- Taping of hands for competition. A maximum of one roll of white soft cloth gauze – of any brand – is permitted per hand and can be no more than 2 inches wide by 15 yards in length. A maximum of one roll of white athletic-type tape – also any brand – is permitted per hand and can be no more than 1 1/4 inches wide by 10 feet in length.
- Limitations on joint/body coverings in competition. Other than the competitor’s hands, there is no taping, covering or protective gear of any kind on the upper body. A fighter may use soft neoprene type sleeves to cover only the knee and/or ankle joints, and the sleeves may not have padding, Velcro, plastic, metal, ties or any other material considered to be unsafe or that may create an unfair advantage. Tape, gauze or any materials other than the approved sleeves are not permitted on the lower body.
What are your thoughts on the newly approved recommendations for professional MMA? Let’s discuss this in the comment section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/27/2017.