The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) has voted unanimously to pass an alteration to the rule of the grounded fighter. They made the announcement on Tuesday at the association’s conference.
ABC president, Mike Mazzulli, confirmed that it was a 42-0 vote, according to ESPN.
ESPN reports that the new language in the rule states, “that a grounded fighter is constituted as any fighter who has anything but the soles of his or her feet on the canvas, with the exception of his or her fingers. A fighter can put a single fist or palm on the ground and be considered grounded, but not solely one or two fingers.”
Obviously, when a fighter is grounded, the opposing fight can not land knees or kicks to the head. At UFC 235, Jon Jones did just that and was deducted two points, as Anthony Smith could continue. Meanwhile, in Greg Hardy’s UFC debut, he connected on a knee to Allen Crowder’s head when he was grounded that resulted in Crowder not being able to continue and a DQ loss for Hardy.
“It’s a fighter safety issue,” Mazzulli said to ESPN. “For fighter safety, the body here has decided to not go back, but change the downed fighter. Being unified is important enough to rewrite the downed fighter rule.”
The hope is all commissions will return to the ABC and have this rule implemented by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Mazzulli hopes this is the right step to having every state have the same set of rules.
“Our end goal is to have our sport have a unified rule set in all states and commissions to help the fighters have a single ruleset,” Mazzulli said.