Nick Diaz will be looking for the California State Athletic Commission to change its MMA rules so that his ‘WAR’ promotion can use rules which are essentially a carbon copy of PRIDE FC’s - in particular, soccer kicks and stomps to a grounded opponent.
His attorney Jonathan Tweedale told Sherdog Beatdown Radio that Diaz has a vision of mixed martial arts which is markedly different to that represented by the UFC, Bellator and other past MMA shows in the US.
The first show is this Saturday in Diaz’s native Stockton, California.
“In the first event, what Nick's trying to do is introduce some rule changes - relative to the rules that many of the fans may be familiar with already - to try to push the action a little more towards the sport as Nick envisions it,” Tweedale says.
"That, first of all, is in a ring versus a cage, not simply because of the dehumanizing element that some fighters have talked about, fighting in a cage, but combat sports have always happened in a ring whether we're talking boxing, kickboxing.
“When did we [start using] a cage [for MMA]? It's only a subset of pro wrestling that uses a cage. Removing the cage, moving to the ring changes things in terms of takedowns, changes things in terms of how you can get up. That's the first change.
"Removing elbows on the ground is a big deal too because that is going to require fighters, if you're on top, you can't just be rubbing your elbows into the guy's face on bottom. You're going to have to create space, try to punch down, and that space is exactly the space the guy on bottom needs to either try to get up or work his submission game.
“Alternatively, the guy on top is going to need to advance his position. We're going to expect some more action and more fighting. Those are two shifts aimed at moving the fights more towards the sort of Japanese MMA that better represents the kind of fighting that Nick wants to see in MMA.”
Diaz is also hoping to introduce the yellow card system used in Pride, which penalizes fighters for inaction or timidity. Under the Pride FC system, yellow cards resulted in purse deductions. In the US, this would have to be approved and overseen by the state athletic commission.