State Of NJ Wants ABC To Reconsider Downed Fighter Rule

It has been a few days since UFC 210, but the aftermath of the fight between former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and Gegard Mousasi are still causing ripple effects.

The state of New Jersey is now asking the Association Of Boxing & Combat Sports Commission (ABC) to reconsider the downed fighter rule, which was changed only a few months ago.

Larry Hazzard of the New Jersey State Athletic Control board recently emailed members of the ABC to voice his concern about the rule.

Here is a portion of the email written by Hazzard, which was obtained by Bloody Elbow:

'We were all advised that the “rush” to change this rule was based on contestants “gaming the system” by placing their fingers up and down and that this rule change was the solution to this problem. It was also stated that the rule change would make the referee’s determinations easier.Given the UFC 210 co-main event bout calls, the NJSACB now respectfully asks that the rule change be reconsidered at the upcoming annual convention.

While we reiterate the above previously stated health and safety concerns, we now add that Mousasi-Weidman proves that this change does not remedy the stated concern. Referees are still required to make difficult determinations as to whether a fighter is down and contestants can still place their hands up and down and up again. Mr. Mousasi himself stated the he believed Mr. Weidman was trying “to take advantage of the rules.” In short, the rule change caused a controversial ending to a very high profile bout. This had not happened under hundreds of UFC main and co-main events over the past several years under the prior rule.'

For those who didn’t see the ending of the fight, referee Dan Miragliotta initially called knee strikes landed by Mousasi to the head of Weidman as illegal. However, replays showed that Mousasi landed legal blows and the referee told Weidman the fight was to resume, but doctors wouldn’t let Weidman continue and he wound up losing by TKO.

Weidman is currently appealing the loss, but the New York State Athletic Commission has yet to issue a response.

The members of the ABC have yet to respond to the request by Hazzard, a timeline is unknown for when  the response will come.

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