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MMA Rule Changes
Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) has implemented 6 rule changes
The British Columbia Athletic Commission (BCAC) was created in 2013 to oversee the conduct of professional boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) as well as amateur kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai and pankration events in the province of BC.
The BCAC has adopted the Mixed Martial Arts Uniform Rules of Conduct, New Jersey Athletic Control Board (NJAC) 13:46-24A
At the 28th Annual Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) convention, held August 1st to 3rd, 2016, the MMA Rules Committee made a presentation to the body of the ABC, proposing six rule changes for the Unified Rules. The proposed amendments passed with a majority vote.
Of note, the New Jersey Athletic Control Board opposed specific proposed amendments and will not be adopting all rule changes.
In accordance with NJAC the BCAC, along with other Canadian Commissions, have not adopted changes to the definition of a grounded fighter and will not allow heel strikes to the kidneys from guard position.
The 6 rule modifications are:
  • Female fight clothing
    • Female competitors will now be required to wear a sports bra or a form-fitting rash guard (short sleeved or sleeveless). This change will standardize female fighters’ attire.
  • Judging criteria
    • Judges should score a bout by assessing the following criteria:
      1. effective striking and effective grappling
      2. effective aggressiveness
      3. cage control
    • The word “damage” has now been removed from the definition.
  • Fingers pointed at a fighter’s face
    • A fighter may not extend their fingers to point at their opponents face.
    • A fighter may extend their fingers towards an opponent’s body; they can point their fingers up or; have a closed fist pointed at their opponent.
    • There is no automatic point deduction, but, a warning will be issued the first time, and if the fighter continues to utilize the technique, they may have a point deducted.  If a fighter continues to utilize the technique after having a point deducted, they may be disqualified.
  • Grabbing the clavicle
    • This is no longer a foul
  • Definition of a grounded fighter
    • A grounded fighter is defined as: any part of the body, other than a single hand and feet touching the fighting area floor. To be grounded, both hands and feet, palm/fist down, and/or any other body part must be touching the fighting area floor. At this time, kicks or knees to the head will not be allowed
  • Heel strikes to the kidneys (from guard position)
    • In the new rules, striking the kidneys with the heel of a competitor’s foot from the guard position is no longer a foul
BCAC has not adopted the 2 specific rule changes for the following reasons:

1. Regulation indicate that BCAC shall follow the New Jersey Athletic Control Board Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (Minister’s Athletic Commissioner Regulation 171/2013 section 24(1) p.15)

2. As a member of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Athletic Commission, BCAC has committed to abide by uniform standards within Canada

3. BCAC has committed to only adopt rules which would introduce new striking to the sport which have been vetted and approved by the Association of Ringside Physicians
All current rules under the NJAC remain in effect