MMA RULES

Definition

“Mixed martial arts” means unarmed combat involving the use, subject to any applicable   limitations set forth in these Unified Rules and other regulations of the applicable Commission, of a combination of techniques from different disciplines of the martial arts, including, without limitation, grappling, submission holds, kicking and striking.

“Unarmed Combat” means any form of competition in which a blow is usually struck which may reasonably be expected to inflict injury.

“Unarmed Combatant” means any person who engages in unarmed combat.

“Commission” means the applicable athletic commission or regulatory body overseeing the bouts, exhibitions or competitions of mixed martial arts. 

Weight Divisions 

  • Lightweight – over 65 kg. to 70 kg.
  • Welterweight – over 70 kg. to 77 kg.
  • Middleweight – over 77 kg. to 84 kg.
  • Light Heavyweight – over 84 kg. to 93 kg.
  • Heavyweight – over 93 kg. to 120 kg.

Round Length

  1. Each non-championship mixed martial arts contest is to be for 3 rounds, each round no more than 5 minutes duration, with a rest period of 1 minute between each round.
  2. Each championship mixed martial arts contest is to be for 5 rounds, each round no more than 5 minutes duration, with a rest period of 1 minute between each round.

Judging

  1. All bouts will be evaluated and scored by 3 judges who shall evaluate the contest from different location around the ring/fighting area. The referee may not be one of the 3 judges.
  2. The 10-Point Must System will be the standard system of scoring a bout. Under the 10-Point Must Scoring System, 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round and 9 points or less must be awarded to the loser, except for a rare even round, which is scored (10-10).
  3. Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.
  4. Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear in (c) above, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.
  5. Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal strikes landed by a contestant.
  6. Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active threatening guard.
  7. Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking, taking down an opponent to force a ground fight, creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.
  8. Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike.
  9. Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks.
  10. The following objective scoring criteria shall be utilized by the judges when scoring a round:
    1. a round is to be scored as a 10-10 round when both contestants appear to be fighting evenly and neither contestant shows clear dominance in a round;
    2. a round is to be scored as a 10-9 round when a contestant wins by a close margin, landing the greater number of effective legal strikes, grappling and other maneuvers;
    3. a round is to be scored as a 10-8 round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.
    4. a round is to be scored as a 10-7 round when a contestant totally dominates by striking or grappling in a round.
  11. Judges shall use a sliding scale and recognize the length of time the fighters are either standing or on the ground, as follows:
    1. if the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round on the canvas, then:
      1. Effective grappling is weighed first; and
      2. Effective striking is then weighed
    2. If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round standing, then:
      1. Effective striking is weighed first; and
      2. Effective grappling is then weighed
    3. A round is to be scored as a 10-8 round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.
    4. If a round ends with a relatively even amount of standing and canvas fighting, striking and grappling are weighed equally.

Fouls

  1. The following acts constitute fouls in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts and may result in penalties, at the discretion of thereferee, if committed:
    1. Butting with the head
    2. Eye gouging of any kind
    3. Biting
    4. Spitting at an opponent
    5. Hair pulling
    6. Fish hooking
    7. Groin attacks of any kind
    8. Putting a finger into any orifice or any cut or laceration of an opponent
    9. Small joint manipulation
    10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow
    11. Striking to the spine or the back of the head
    12. Kicking to the kidney with a heel
    13. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
    14. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh
    15. Grabbing the clavicle
    16. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent
    17. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent
    18. Stomping a grounded opponent
    19. Holding the fence
    20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent
    21. Using abusive language in fenced ring/fighting area
    22. Engaging in any unsportsmanlike conduct that causes injury to an opponent
    23. Attacking an opponent on or during the break
    24. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee
    25. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the round
    26. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury
    27. Throwing opponent out of ring/fighting area
    28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee
    29. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck
    30. Interference by the corner
    31. Applying any foreign substance to the hair or body to gain an advantage
  2. Disqualification may occur after any combination of fouls or after a flagrant foul at the discretion of the referee.
  3. Fouls may result in a point being deducted by the official scorekeeper from the offending contestant’s score. The scorekeeper, not the judges, will be responsible for calculating the true score after factoring in the point deduction.
  4. Only a referee can assess a foul. If the referee does not call the foul, judges must not make that assessment on their own and should not factor such into their scoring calculations.
  5. If a foul is committed:
    1. The referee shall call timeout.
    2. The referee shall order the offending contestant to a neutral location.
    3. The referee shall check the fouled contestant’s condition and safety.
    4. The referee shall then assess the foul to the offending contestant and deduct points if the referee deems it appropriate, and notify the commission, the corners, the official scorekeeper of his decision on whether the foul was accidental or intentional and whether a point is to be taken away.
  6. If a bottom contestant commits a foul, unless the top contestant is injured, the contest will continue and:
    1. The referee will verbally notify the bottom contestant of the foul.
    2. When the round is over, the referee will assess the foul and notify the commission, the corners, the judges and the official scorekeeper.
    3. The referee may terminate a contest based on the severity of a foul. For such a flagrant foul, the contestant committing the foul shall lose by disqualification.
  7. Low Blow Foul:
    1. A fighter who has been struck with a low blow is allowed up to 5 minutes to recover from the foul as long as in the ringside doctor’s opinion the fighter may possibly continue on in the contest.
    2. If the fighter states that they can continue on before the five minutes of time have expired, the referee shall, as soon as practical, restart the fight.
    3. If the fighter goes over the 5 minute time allotment, and the fight cannot be restarted, the contest must come to an end with the outcome determined by the round and time in which the fight was stopped. See Section 16 below.
  8. Fighter Fouled by other than low blow:
    1. If a contest of mixed martial arts is stopped because of an accidental foul, the referee shall determine whether the unarmed combatant who has been fouled can continue or not. If the unarmed combatant’s chance of winning has not been seriously jeopardized as a result of the foul and if the foul did not involve a concussive impact to the head of the unarmed combatant who has been fouled, the referee may order the contest or exhibition continued after a recuperative interval of not more than 5 minutes. Immediately after separating the unarmed combatants, the referee shall inform the Commission’s representative of his determination that the foul was accidental.
    2. If a fighter is fouled by blow that the referee deems illegal, the referee should stop the action and call for time. The referee may take the injured fighter to the ringside doctor and have the ringside doctor examine the fighter as to their ability to continue on in the contest. The ringside doctor has up to 5 minutes to make their determination. If the ringside doctor determines that the fighter can continue in the contest, the referee shall as soon as practical restart the fight. Unlike the low blow foul rule, the fighter does not have up to 5 minutes of time to use, at their discretion, and must continue the fight when instructed to by the referee.
    3. For a foul other than a low blow, if the injured fighter is deemed not fit to continue, by the referee, the referee must immediately call a halt to the bout. If the fighter is deemed not fit to continue, by the referee, even though some of the 5 minute foul time is still remaining, the fighter cannot avail himself of the remaining time and the fight must be stopped.
    4. If the referee stops the contest and employs the use of the ringside doctor, the ringside physician’s examinations shall not exceed 5 minutes. If 5 minutes is exceeded, the fight cannot be re-started and the contest must end.

Injuries Sustained by Fair Blows and Fouls

  1. If an injury sustained during competition as a result of a legal maneuver is severe enough to terminate a bout, the injured contestant loses by technical knockout.
  2. If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul, as determined by the referee, is severe enough to terminate a bout, the contestant causing the injury loses by disqualification.
  3. If an injury is sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul, as determined by the referee, and the bout is allowed to continue, the referee shall notify the scorekeeper to automatically deduct two points from the contestant who committed the foul.
  4. If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul, as determined by the referee, causes the injured contestant to beunable to continue at a subsequent point in the contest, the injured contestant shall win by technical decision, if he or she is ahead on the scorecards. If the injured contestant is even or behind on the score cards at the time of stoppage, the outcome of the bout shall be declared a technicaldraw.
  5. If a contestant injures himself or herself while attempting to foul his or her opponent, the referee shall not take any action in his or herfavor, and the injury shall be treated in the same manner as an injury produced by a fair blow.
  6. If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an accidental foul, as determined by the referee, is severe enough for the referee tostop the bout immediately, the bout shall result in a no contest if stopped before two rounds have been completed in a three round bout or if stoppedbefore three rounds have been completed in a five round bout.
  7. If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an accidental foul, as determined by the referee, is severe enough for the referee tostop the bout immediately, the bout shall result in a technical decision awarded to the contestant who is ahead on the score cards at the time the boutis stopped only when the bout is stopped after two rounds of a three round bout, or three rounds of a five round bout have been completed.
  8. Incomplete rounds should be scored utilizing the same criteria as the scoring of other rounds up to the point said incomplete round is stopped.

Types of Contest Results

  1. Submission by:
    1. Physical Tap Out
    2. Verbal Tap Out
  2. Knockout by:
    1. when Referee stops the contest (TKO)
    2. when an injury as a result of a legal maneuver is sever enough to terminate a bout (TKO)
    3. when contestant being rendered unconscious due strikes or kicks (KO)
  3. Decision via the scorecards, including:
    1. Unanimous Decision – When all three judges score the contest for the same contestant
    2. Split Decision – When two judges score the contest for one contestant and one judge scores for the opponent
    3. Majority Decision – When two judges score the contest for the same contestant and one judge scores a draw
  4. Draws, including:
    1. Unanimous Draw – When all three judges score the contest a draw
    2. Majority Draw – When two judges score the contest a draw
    3. Split Draw – When all three judges score differently
  5. Disqulification
  6. Forfeit
  7. Technical Draw
  8. Technical Decision
  9. No Decision

1 Comment