This year at the annual Association of Boxing Commission meeting, the organization will be examining the rules banning knees and kicks to a grounded opponent. Though the association is specifically targeting the case of fighter A intentionally grounding himself by placing a finger or hand on the ground to avoid strikes and benefit from the rule against fighter B, this is a great start. As a fight fan, I could not possibly be more excited. Can you say, “Pride rules?”
According to Nick Lembo, July 31st will be the day the Association discusses the change. The new rule, if it is implemented, states that a fighter intentionally grounding himself can even be penalized by a point deduction! The new rule reads:
“Referees should instruct the fighters that they may still be considered a standing fighter even if they have a finger or portion of the hand (or entire hand) on the canvas. In the discretion of the referee, a fighter who has a finger or hand on the canvas may still be legally struck in the head with knees and kicks. The referee may decide if the downed fighter is placing his finger/hand down without doing so for an offensive or countering maneuver in an attempt to advance or improve his position. The referee may decide that the downed fighter is instead simply trying to draw a foul. If the referee decides that the fighter is “touching down,” simply to benefit from a foul, the referee may consider that fighter a standing fighter and decide that no foul has occurred.”
All I have to say is, thank God. Recent MMA has shown many fighters abusing and taking advantage of the rules, especially this one. The rule change would lead to much more exciting fights and more viewership. And The UFC needs all of the viewership they can get if they wish to expand the sport, which has been at a standstill for a couple of years now. Perhaps this rule will get the UFC off the ground as well.