Whenever there’s a big mishap at a huge UFC event, there are always calls for adjustments in rules or regulations – some of the most common are usually around the judging situation as poor commission judges have often been seen to make the wrong choice, and particularly with the growing betting market within the UFC as Tennessee sports betting for example is certainly growing in the sport, but the past two weekends have seen two parts of the sport that are often pointed out as being behind the curve, and with one being a higher profile title fight, are changes finally on the way for two of the sports biggest problems?
The first and most prevalent recently is in regard to grounded opponents as Yan was disqualified in his recent title fight against Sterling for this very reason – if a fighter has their knees or their hands on the ground, they can’t be struck by the legs which includes knees and kicks, however this has been used in the past to slow the pace of a fight or even stop a fight in its tracks and it forces the more aggressive fighter to change their own approach. Former flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson who now fights in ONE Championship where strikes with the leg against a grounded opponent is legal weighed in himself stating that he believes the change should be made to prevent fights being stalled, and there are certainly many others that agree with the change too.
(Image from essentiallysports.com)
Another of the big changes that many have been hoping to see for quite some time now is within the glove design too – this past weekend saw another fight come to an end due to a severe eye poking, and eye pokes have plagued the sport for quite some time now with many of the biggest athletes complaining how it has become an actual tactic used by some fighters. The design of the gloves extends the fingers, however, and makes it much harder to prevent eye pokes for the fighters who prefer to keep their arms stretched forward – either a rule change is needed to prevent fighters from keeping their arms extended, or a new design for the gloves. Whilst there has been talks that a new design would soon be on the way, that time has come and gone, and it seems that approach has been forgotten about for now.
It’s disappointing any time a fight ends abruptly for reasons like these, but it certainly seems to be becoming more common as new talent is signed and the talent at the top is closing for more competitive divisions – rumours will always be turning on the mill suggesting that change is on the way, but these past two weekends will certainly strengthen the resolve to see change put in place sooner rather than later.