Report: ABC to Consider Change to Downed Fighter Rule
The Unified Rules of mixed-martial-arts could have one of its regulations changed this week, as according to multiple reports, the Association of Boxing Commissions is considering amending the language regarding what constitutes a grounded or downed fighter.
Currently, a fighter can intentionally down themselves by touching the mat with their finger or hand, and thus, any kick or knee to their head is illegal. Critics have argued for sometime that the rule allows fighters to “game the system,” by either attempting to draw an unintentional foul or stall the action. As a result, commissioner representatives Nick Lembo (New Jersey), Bernie Profato (Ohio) and Keith Kizer (Nevada) have authored the following proposal:
“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 that the downed fighter is placing his or her finger or hand down without doing so for an offensive or countering maneuver in an attempt to advance or improve their 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.”
The ABC is set to meet Wednesday, on July 31st in San Antonio, Texas and will review the proposed change.