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MMA- rules

 

 

The rules for modern mixed martial arts competitions have changed significantly since the early days of vale tudo, Japanese shoot wrestling, and UFC 1, and even more from the historic style of pankration. As the knowledge of fighting techniques spread among fighters and spectators, it became clear that the original minimalist rule systems needed to be amended. The main motivations for these rule changes were protection of the health of the fighters, the desire to shed the perception of "barbarism and lawlessness", and to be recognized as a legitimate sport.

 

The new rules included the introduction of weight classes; as knowledge about submissions spread, differences in weight had become a significant factor. There are nine different weight classes in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. These nine weight classes include flyweight (up to 125 lb / 56.7 kg), bantamweight (up to 135 lb / 61.2 kg), featherweight (up to 145 lb / 65.8 kg), lightweight (up to 155 lb / 70.3 kg), welterweight (up to 170 lb / 77.1 kg), middleweight (up to 185 lb / 83.9 kg), light heavyweight (up to 205 lb / 93.0 kg), heavyweight (up to 265 lb / 120.2 kg), and super heavyweight with no upper weight limit.

 

Small, open-fingered gloves were introduced to protect fists, reduce the occurrence of cuts (and stoppages due to cuts) and encourage fighters to use their hands for striking to allow more captivating matches. Gloves were first made mandatory in Japan's Shooto promotion and were later adopted by the UFC as it developed into a regulated sport. Most professional fights have the fighters wear 4 oz gloves, whereas some jurisdictions require amateurs to wear a slightly heavier 6 oz glove for more protection for the hands and wrists.

 

Time limits were established to avoid long fights with little action where competitors conserved their strength. Matches without time limits also complicated the airing of live events. The time limits in most professional fights are three 5 minute rounds, and championship fights are normally five 5 minute rounds. Similar motivations produced the "stand up" rule, where the referee can stand fighters up if it is perceived that both are resting on the ground or not advancing toward a dominant position.

 

In the U.S., state athletic and boxing commissions have played a crucial role in the introduction of additional rules because they oversee MMA in a similar fashion to boxing. In Japan and most of Europe, there is no regulating authority over competitions, so these organizations have greater freedom in rule development and event structure.

 

Previously, Japan-based organization Pride Fighting Championships held an opening 10-minute round followed by two five-minute rounds. Stomps, soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent are legal, but elbow strikes to the head are not. This rule set is more predominant in the Asian-based organizations as opposed to European and American rules. More recently, Singapore-based organization ONE Fighting Championship allows soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent as well as elbow strikes to the head, but does not allow head stomps.

 

Victory in a match is normally gained either by the judges' decision after an allotted amount of time has elapsed, a stoppage by the referee (for example if a competitor can not defend himself intelligently) or the fight doctor (due to an injury), a submission, by a competitor's cornerman throwing in the towel, or by knockout.

 

Knockout (KO): as soon as a fighter is unable to continue due to legal strikes, his opponent is declared the winner. As MMA rules allow submissions and ground and pound, the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to the fighter.

 

Submission: a fighter may admit defeat during a match by:

• a tap on the opponent's body or mat/floor
• a verbal submission

 

Technical Submission: the referee stops the match when the fighter is caught in a submission hold and is in danger of being injured. Often it is when a fighter gets choked unconscious; other times it is when a bone has been broken in a submission hold (a broken arm due to a kimura, etc.)

 

Technical Knockout (TKO)

•  Referee stoppage: The ref may stop a match in progress if:
• a fighter becomes dominant to the point where the opponent can not intelligently defend himself and is taking excessive damage as a result
• a fighter appears to be losing consciousness as he/she is being struck
• a fighter appears to have a significant injury such as a cut or a broken bone

 

Doctor Stoppage/Cut: the referee will call for a time out if a fighter's ability to continue is in question as a result of apparent injuries, such as a large cut. The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.

 

Corner stoppage: a fighter's corner men may announce defeat on the fighter's behalf by throwing in the towel during the match in progress or between rounds. This is normally done when a fighter is being beaten to the point where it is dangerous and unnecessary. In some cases, the fighter may be injured.

 

Retirement: a fighter is so dazed or exhausted that he/she cannot physically continue fighting.

 

Decision: if the match goes the distance, then the outcome of the bout is determined by three judges. The judging criteria are organization-specific.

 

Forfeit: a fighter or his representative may forfeit a match prior to the beginning of the match, thereby losing the match.

 

Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction. Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.

No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest".

 

Common disciplines


Most 'traditional' martial arts have a specific focus and these arts may be trained to improve in that area. Popular disciplines of each type include:


Clinch: Freestyle, Greco-Roman wrestling, Sambo, and Judo are trained to improve clinching, takedowns, and throws, while Muay Thai is trained to improve the striking aspect of the clinch.


Ground: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Wrestling, shoot wrestling, catch wrestling, Judo, and Sambo are trained to improve ground control and position, as well as to achievesubmission holds, and defend against them.

 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourthUltimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments.

 

Amateur wrestling

Amateur Wrestling (including Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and American Folkstyle) gained tremendous respect due to its effectiveness in mixed martial arts competitions.

 

Judo

Using their knowledge of ne-waza/ground grappling and tachi-waza/standing-grappling, several Judo practitioners have also competed in mixed martial arts matches.

 

Karate

Karate has proved to be effective in the sport as it is one of the core foundations of kickboxing, and specializes in striking techniques.

 

Kickboxing

Kickboxing is widely used by MMA fighters as it is seen as a great way to practice stand-up striking.

 

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is recognized as a foundation for striking in mixed martial arts, and is widely practiced and taught. One of the primary benefits of training in Muay Thai for MMA is its versatility.

 

The techniques utilized in mixed martial arts competition generally fall into two categories: striking techniques (such as kicks, knees, punches and elbows) and grapplingtechniques (such as clinch holds, pinning holds, submission holds, sweeps, takedowns and throws).
Today, mixed martial artists must cross-train in a variety of styles to counter their opponent's strengths and remain effective in all the phases of combat.

 

Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

 

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