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MMA Rules Changed After Combat Commission Vote

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MMA Rules Changed After Combat Commission Vote

The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) has voted in favour of changing MMA rules regarding eye pokes, consistent neoprene sleeve use and the publication of scoring ladders.

The most significant change, regarding eye pokes, will now see such fouls treated similarly to a ‘low blow.’

An affected fighter will now be given five minutes to recover from the foul, assuming ringside doctors confirm the athlete’s ability to continue.

Formally, eye poke rulings were at the referee’s discretion, often ending in turbulent decisions, where fighters were not given adequate recovery time.

The new ruling, following the 2022 ABC annual conference in Niagara Falls, says: “If the fighter states they can see and wish to continue, and confirmed by a doctor, the referee shall as soon as practical restart the fight.”

“If the fighter goes over the five-minute time allotment the fight cannot be restarted and the contest must come to an end with the outcome determined by the round and time in which the fight was stopped,” it continues.

Additionally, the ABC, which oversees athletic commissions in the USA, Canada and others, made the ruling of consistent allowances of neoprene sleeves for fighters on knees and ankles.

Prior to the decision, sleeves utilised for pain reduction via compression were only allowed by certain commissions.

The publishing of accessible scoring ladder charts was also approved, which is proposed to decipher judging criteria from MMA fights.

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