Hi, I’m Jim Genia. I’ve been following this sport since it first came to the US in 1993, and have been writing about it professionally since 2001. I remember when the rules concerning cagefighting were a nebulous, amorphous thing that seemed to change with each subsequent UFC event – that includes the addition of time limits and weight classes – and I can recall fondly the day the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts were codified.
Yes, it’s been great to see a standardized rule set take over the sport (heck, even underground fights used them). But now it appears that some jurisdictions are adopting some changes, and some aren’t.
That makes me sad.
As per MMAFighting:
The integrity of the Unified Rules of MMA will be compromised at the start of the new year.
A number of state athletic commissions will not adopt changes to the rules voted on over the summer by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC), MMA Fighting has learned. Some other commissions will vote on the new rules, but not until after the scheduled enactment date of Jan. 1, and there is no guarantee they will be passed.
The result is a first in the short history of mixed martial arts: the potential for different jurisdictions having different in-cage rules.
New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland and South Dakota are among the states that will not adopt the new rules in full, per data collected by the ABC obtained by MMA Fighting. Texas will not vote on the rules until March. Nevada will “possibly” vote on the rules changes in January, according to executive director Bob Bennett.
The ABC does not have a federal mandate and cannot enforce commissions to change any rules. Each state has its own legislature and commissioners and act autonomously.
Read the rest of article and you’ll get a sense that maybe politics are playing a part in all this. Regardless of the reason, though, it sucks that where once we were unified, we are now fractured.