The Association Of Boxing Commission & Combative Sports (ABC) rules and regulations committee have passed the use of instant replay for fight finishing sequences in MMA events. The rule will be voted on this Summer by the ABC body and it could take effect immediately if passed.
Former Bellator MMA and current Victory FC color commentator Sean Wheelock, who is a part of the committee, said the following to MMA Fighting:
“We wanted to do it where it had very strict, narrow criteria,” Wheelock said. “I think for this to work, you have to have parameters. It was more of a matter of us looking at ways to improve the sport and looking at other sports. “If this technology is there, why not use it?”
Here is the full language of the rule, according to the ABC:
Instant Replay Use in Mixed Martial Arts Competition
The use of Instant Replay in MMA must be set under parameters that insure fairness in the match and a proper outcome at the conclusion of the fight. Instant Replay may not be possible in some smaller shows that are not being videotaped.
Due to the complexities involved in the sport of MMA, the referee may only use Instant Replay when he/she feels that a “Fight Ending Sequence” was possibly caused by an illegal action (foul) whether intentional or unintentional. At such a time the referee and only the referee may call for a review of the last moments of the fight. Once reviewing the replay the referee can either confirm or dispel whether a foul was committed that brought about the fight ending sequence and take the appropriate actions from there.
It should be noted that Instant Replay is not to be used to review the actions of the referee. Examples of this include:
1. Was the fight was stopped at the right moment?
2. Was there a tap?
3. Did a fighter commit a foul that did not bring about an end to the fight?
If a referee utilizes instant replay, the information obtained from the replay cannot be used to restart the fight as the fight is officially over and may not be resumed.
The sole purpose of Instant Replay in MMA is to allow the referee to make a correct call on the outcome of the fight in calling:
1. A winner of the match
2. Having the fight go to the judge’s scorecards for a Technical Decision
3. Is the fight going to be a “No Contest”?