The Association Of Boxing Commissions & Combative Sports (ABC) had a meeting this past Wednesday, which ending with them voting on and passing four new policies that could affect the future of MMA.
Those policies involve when a fight goes to the scorecards after a foul ends the bout, changes to greasing fighters, a change to the definition of knockout and referee authority timing.
MMA Fighting has provided a more in depth look at these policy changes:
Going to scorecards: Right now, when an accidental foul results in a finish before the third round of a three-round fight or before the fourth round of a five-round fight, it is deemed a no contest. Afterward, the fight goes to the scorecards. This will remain, but now the new policy for one-, two- and four-round fights, the cutoff will be the halfway point of the bout. So an accidental foul finishes the fight after the midway point, it’ll go to the scores. If it’s over before the midway point, it’ll be deemed a no contest.
Greasing: Currently, fighters are only allowed to have a thin amount of petroleum jelly on their cheeks, eyebrows, forehead, temples and nose put on before the fight. The policy passed Wednesday states that the jelly — or a similar substance — can be reapplied between rounds, but only by an approved cutman or licensed cornerman. The reasoning for the change is because boxing has always allowed the application of such a substance in between rounds.
KO definition: The policy change states that a finish is called knockout now when a fighter cannot intelligently defend himself or herself. A TKO will be defined as a finish when a fighter is not intelligently defending. Previously, the determination was made arbitrarily by the fight’s referee. The change was proposed from a medical perspective, so that a commission can adequately determine the severity of the finish when determining medical suspensions. It was also proposed just to clear up inconsistencies between the two determinations.
Referee authority timing: The new policy makes it so the referee has authority over the in-cage proceedings until commission inspectors enter the cage. The referee’s authority begins when they leave the cage and ends when they come back after the conclusion of a fight. If a foul occurs after the finish of a fight, but before the inspectors enter the cage, the bout result is still under jurisdiction of the referee, under this new policy.
It should be noted that unless the Unified Rules Of MMA are altered by the various athletic commissions, all the new policies changed by the ABC won’t be going into affect.