clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

New unified MMA rules for UFC, including eye pokes and grounded fighters, coming soon

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

A change is coming... eventually.

After the Athletic Boxing Commission (ABC) approved changes to the unified rules for mixed martial arts (MMA) on Tuesday (Aug. 2, 2016), MMA Fighting reports the new rules will not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2017.

So, how exactly will the new rules affect the sport? Here is a small sample some of the changes:

Grounded fighter

A grounded fighter is defined as: Any part of the body, other than a single hand and feet touching the fighting area floor. To be grounded, both hands and feet, palm/fist down, and/or any other body part must be touching the fighting area floor. At this time, kicks or knees to the head will not be allowed.

Extended fingers

In the standing position, a fighter that moves their arm(s) toward their opponent with an open hand, fingers pointing at the opponent's face/eyes, will be a foul. Referees are to prevent this dangerous behavior by communicating clearly to fighters. Fighters are directed to close their fists or point their fingers straight in the air when reaching toward their opponent.

Female clothing

Female competitors must wear a short-sleeved (above the elbow) or sleeveless form-fitting rash guard and/or sports bra. No loose-fitting tops are allowed. Female competitors will follow the same requirements for bottom coverings as the male competitors, minus the requirement for groin protection.

The new rules will also affect the judging criteria when it comes to scoring 10-8, rounds, as well as removing two fouls from the MMA Unified Rules, including heel strikes to the kidneys and the grabbing of the clavicle.

Anyone excited for the new rule changes?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania