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Nevada State Athletic Commission asking for fans to suggest rule-changes

Nevada State Athletic Commission asking for fans to suggest rule-changes
February 9th 2012

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will be holding an open meeting this month where mixed martial arts fans can suggest alterations they would like to see to the unified rules.

Fans can also submit their suggestions by email to NSAC director Keith Kizer by email via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NSAC’s press release declares the body to be interested in “comments from interested persons on any matter related to contests or exhibitions of unarmed combat, or any other matter within the jurisdiction of the NSAC.”

There are no guarantees that the commission will act on any suggestions received, but it has consistently shown itself to be open to change and development in the past so there is no reason to think the process will be unproductive.

If there are any suggestions that the commission likes, it will put them forward to be debated at a hearing later this year, with a vote on which measures to enact taking place further down the line.

The best suggestions will be presented at a regulation hearing in the Spring, and will be open for public comment. A final hearing would be held thereafter, and the rule or rules will be voted on.

One suggestion that is likely to loom large, but fall on deaf ears, is to allow knees to the head of a downed opponent. This has been a perennial issue whenever potential rule changes have been discussed.

Its effect on the sport would be significant; it would totally change the dynamic of failed takedown attempts and perhaps go a little way to reversing the current balance of power, which lies towards the wrestlers.

But visually, it is something that the unseasoned observer - or total MMA newcomer - would find shocking and with MMA still a relatively fledgling sport engaged in the battle for hearts and minds, it would possibly be detrimental in the long term.

Comments

  • Jason Endres

    Posted at 16:03 on February 9th 2012

    The following I would like to see implemented:

    1. Less emphasis on actual takedowns
    2. Quality of the strikes delivered in a given round should be judged higher than the total # of strikes landed.
    3. A true definition for what a 10-8 round constitutes. In boxing there are clear rules for this, in MMA it is a true gray area.
    4. If points are going to be deducted, instant replay should be utilized to review situation.
    5. If a fight ends in a no decision / disqualification, instant replay should be utilized and reviewed before a final ruling is determined.

    Thank you and look forward to seeing how the sport evolves moving forward!

    Jason Endres

    Reply to comment

  • Eric Straum

    Posted at 16:54 on February 9th 2012

    1) Make 12-6 elbows legal.
    2) Less emphasis on takedowns, and a person being in the top position, as this negatively impacts fighters who favor jiu-jitsu and working off their back.
    3) A true definition for what a 10-8 round constitutes.

    Reply to comment

  • Michael Woods

    Posted at 18:04 on February 9th 2012

    1) Allow knees to the head of a grounded opponent.
    2) Less emphasis on takedowns, and a person being in the top position, as this negatively impacts fighters who favor jiu-jitsu and working off their back.
    3) Implement a yellow card system similar to the one in Pride.

    Reply to comment

  • Brent Williams

    Posted at 18:11 on February 9th 2012

    Great comments above. I would add:

    1) Clarification on when fighters need to be reset for lack of action.
    2) Improvements in the weigh in process. I don't watch MMA to see who is the best at cutting weight. I watch to see who is the best fighter at a certain weight class. Having a better system would not allow massive changes in weight, and therefore take that element out of the sport.

    Reply to comment

  • Ryan Browning

    Posted at 18:18 on February 9th 2012

    1-Make all elbows illegal (stopping fights by cuts is horribly lame)
    2-Allow soccer kicks and stomps to the head (this will help with the guys who lay on their back all fight)
    3-Allow heel kicks and small joint manipulation. (its a fight, let em fight)
    4-Remove the 10 point must boxing system (does not work in 3-5 rd fights)
    5-Instant replay was passed, start using it.
    6-Remove the boxing judges
    7-Have weigh ins on fight day (those who cut massive weight will suffer or be forced to fight at a healthy natural weight class)
    8-Far less emphasis on pointless takedowns
    9-Use only certified judges and refs.
    10-Remove the athletic commission all together! Why does the commission choose the rules of this sport? Imagine if the commission said they were going to change the rules of the NFL, now touchdowns will be worth 1 point and field goals will be worth 7. It makes zero sense to me.

    I10- know the commission would never pass it, but true mma was before we added time limits to fights. Now its becoming a point scoring game as opposed to a fight.

    Reply to comment

  • Nic Hautamaki

    Posted at 21:53 on February 9th 2012

    Thanks for your request for fan feedback on rules for MMA competition. Just in case you consider it relevant, I am a professional fighter as well as long time fan of the sport. For proof, this is a video of a fight I won in China, in Xi'an, in 2009. http://player.youku.com/player.php/sid/36434567/v.swf

    I'll try to keep my suggestions brief as I'm sure you'll be getting hundreds if not thousands of these.

    1) I'd like to see a return to knees to the head of a grounded opponent being allowed. Taking away knees is taking away dominant grapplers' greatest TKO weapon, which leads to some of the greatest fighters of our time, like Georges St Pierre, going on long streaks without a finish despite clearly dominating all of their competition. The tradeoff in any loss of safety is unproven and based purely on hearsay and uneducated opinion. Knees to the head have always been allowed in China, Japan, and other major MMA markets and I'm aware of no greater incidence of injury as a result. Contrary to popular perception, the most dangerous strikes are those landed against a standing fighter as there is just as great a risk of him concussing himself by falling to the mat and striking the back of his head against it while limp than from the initial blow itself. And, as we have seen in boxing and the NFL, the greatest risk of long term brain damage comes from the accumulation over a long period of time of repeated blows, not necessarily the strength of a single blow. Techniques that allow fighters to end fights more quickly via ref stoppage are probably better for the fighters over the length of a career rather than forcing them to absorb twice as many non-fight-ending shots to the cranium over the course of many longer fights.

    2) I'd like to see the judging criteria slightly adjusted to the Pride system. To paraphrase, the winner of a round shall be the fighter who comes closest to finishing his opponent (via KO/TKO or submission). In the case that the fighters come roughly equally close to finishing each other, the fighter who comes close to finishing more times, or, if applicable, whose finishing attempt was interrupted/prevented by the round ending bell rather than an unaided escape/recovery by his opponent should be granted the round. In the case that neither fighter comes close to finishing, the round should be awarded to the fighter who appears to be making a greater effort to finish his opponent (as opposed to merely 'controlling' his opponent or stalling with techniques that could not reasonably end a fight.

    3) I'd like to see more 10-10 and 10-8 rounds awarded and more draws in general. To counterbalance this, I'd like to see an overtime round to determine a winner in the case of a draw in regulation, like in K1 and TUF.

    I believe these rule changes will result in much more exciting and action packed fights, much less controversy in final decisions, and will not actually compromise fighter safety which of course must be paramount. Thanks again for your consideration.

    Sincerely, Nic Hautamaki

    Reply to comment

  • Nic Hautamaki

    Posted at 22:15 on February 9th 2012

    Other great suggestions I agree with:

    1) automatic usage of instant replay to verify all illegal blows resulting in DQ or points deduction.
    2) upkicks/kicks to escape leglocks allowed: ie you can throw kicks to the head of a grounded opponent if you are also grounded.
    3) judges announce scores between rounds so corners/fighters know where they stand.

    Reply to comment

  • Dale

    Posted at 01:36 on February 10th 2012

    Take weed OFF the list. Ask 1000 fighters if they think weed is performance enhancing and see if you get one 'yes'.

    Reply to comment

  • Stephen Lewis

    Posted at 03:31 on February 10th 2012

    Here are the rules that should be implemented

    1. Allow knees to the head of a grounded opponent.

    2. Less emphasis on take-downs, and a person being in the top position, as this negatively impacts fighters who favor jiu-jitsu and working off their back.

    3. Implement a yellow card system similar to the one in Pride. For Fouls, Staling, and Refusal to Engage.

    4. If points are going to be deducted, instant replay should be utilized to review situation.

    5. Give points or submission attempts and near finishes with submissions.

    6. If a fight ends in a no decision / disqualification, instant replay should be utilized and reviewed before a final ruling is determined.

    7. Get rid of the current Judges who are screwing up with the scoring and get MMA educated Judges not Boxing Judges who do not understand MMA.

    8. Make all Judges and Refs get certified to show them how MMA works with all Arts from Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Kickboxing ETC.

    Reply to comment

  • shawn mcdonald

    Posted at 04:21 on February 10th 2012

    this is in regard to kneeing the head of a "grounded" opponent. Please hear me out grounded should mean on the ground on your back or on your chest. Guys have used putting a finger or a hand on the mat when in the clench or while fending off a take down. This is where the rule needs to be changed just having three points of contact with the mat dones not mean your a Grounded opponent. this rule needs to change to allow knees to the head putting one finger or one hand on the mat should not be something to cancel out such devistating attacks. It is a cheap stall tactic used by cowardly sissys.

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