UFC 220 was the first pay-per-view of the year for the promotion, with a pair of title fights in the headlining position.
However, fans watching the event at home or even at the arena may not know that a portion of the preliminary card was fought at a different rule set when compared to the main card.
MMA Fighting is reporting that all preliminary card fights, with the exception of Kyle Bochniak versus Brandon Davis, were fought under the new Unified Rules Of MMA. Which means that the bouts that took place from Bochniak/Davis and up were fought under the old rules of MMA.
Just to give an example of the difference between the rule sets, a grounded opponent under the old rules would be when anything other than the soles of a competitors feet are on the ground. While under the new Unified Rules Of MMA, either both fighter’s palms or fists must be touching the ground.
Fighters were apparently seeking out the UFC’s Marc Ratner to get a clarification on the rules, in which he told the competitors that the old rules were in affect. The MSAC had been using the new rules since January 2017, so there is no reason given by the MSAC as to why the rules mix up even took place at the event.
There was also situations backstage at the event where fighters were being told by different referees as to what the rule sets were, while some didn’t know until moments before they were set to compete.
A statement was issued to MMA Fighting from the MSAC about the matter:
“There was an internal miscommunication about the rules, however, all of the fighters and officials understood which rules applied for their matches.”
While the MSAC did acknowledge their mistake at UFC 220, one thing they didn’t address is what will happen in the future to ensure this doesn’t happen again.