Six MMA Rule Changes That Need to Happen Immediately

(Also, groin kicks will be allowed in cases when one fighter clearly had it coming.)

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

In the beginning it was anything goes, with 200-pound karate stylists taking on 600-pound sumo wrestlers and Brazilians feverishly jumping up and down shouting “Vale tudo! Vale tudo!” as they beat opponents with sticks. For a new American promotion called the Ultimate Fighting Championship this made for some serious pay-per-view buy rates, but it also made the general public somewhat upset, so rules were introduced. Suddenly gone was the wrestler’s ability to run down his foe with a tractor. Also gone was the kickboxer’s ability to use a prison-shiv. With a new list of fouls and weight classes, “no-holds-barred fighting” became the MMA we know and love today. Unfortunately, over the course of ten years the evolution of the sport has created a new set of problems, and the time has come to implement some very necessary additional rule changes. Here, in no particular order, are the six most important:

A Two-Round Limit on Dry-Humping

When ground-and-pound turns into lay-and-pray and it becomes painfully obvious that the guy on the bottom can’t stop takedowns and the guy on top couldn’t out-grapple a passed-out teenager on prom night, then watching what transpires is akin to torture. At the last Strikeforce/CBS outing, we learned by round 3 that Gegard Mousasi knew no wrestling and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal knew nothing but wrestling. Every round after that was like watching Twister ™ night at the retirement home: boring, horrifying and sad. There needs to be a two-round limit on dry-humping — maybe stand them up immediately or let them duel with pistols at 20 paces. Anything is better than five rounds of man-loving-man.

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Heavyweight Fighters Are Forbidden From Punching in the First Round

Props to CP reader Dan W. for suggesting this crucial rule change. We’re tired of paying big money for heavyweight interim title-fights and headliners, only to have them end abruptly in the first round due to excessive punching. Look, you guys are just too damn strong, and it gives you all an unfair advantage against each other. (Yes, that makes complete logical sense, just trust me.) Since we can’t shrink the size of their 7XL hands, we’ll instead ban heavyweights from throwing leather in the first frame. Wrestle, try some kicks and flying knees, work for submissions — that’s all good. But Shane Carwin’s uppercuts represent the kind of brutality that this sport doesn’t need right now.

No More Dancing

Okay Anderson Silva, we get it. You have superpowers and are leagues above mere mortals when it comes to striking. Now can you please KO the out-classed opponent standing before you? At UFC 101, Silva came out and wrecked Forrest Griffin, but against Demian Maia, Thales Leites and Patrick Cote, it was like watching one guy try feebly to fight while the other guy films a Michael Jackson music video. Thus, no more dancing and no more shenanigans, and all violators should be met with a TASER and a court order prohibiting them from coming within 200 feet of unsupervised children. Just fight, you jackass!

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12-to-6 Elbows Will Be Legalized, Except for Jon Jones

Joe Rogan was right: The outlawing of 12-to-6 elbows is a completely arbitrary rule created by uninformed idiots who thought the technique was somehow more dangerous than elbows delivered from any other clock-hand-position. It’s time to put this one to bed once and for all — except for Bones Jones, who really could kill somebody with those things. It’s nothing personal, buddy. Maybe to even things out, Jones could be allowed one small-joint manipulation per fight?

Go Easy On the Japanese 

The Japanese have a rich fighting culture steeped in history and tradition. Also, they’ve sucked at MMA lately. Whether it’s the once-great Takanori Gomi getting clobbered by Kenny Florian or the supposedly-great Shinya Aoki looking like a despondent crab against Gilbert Melendez, it’s apparent that the Land of the Rising Sun has lost some its shine. Hey, they gave us a fair number of martial arts disciplines and the Pride Fighting Championships. Maybe it’s time we take it just a little bit easier on them? To make things more competitive, Americans should only be allowed to fight them while drunk, with violators of this new rule subjected to such guilt-inducing phrases as “Now look what you did, you killed Caol Uno,” and “Come on, man, that’s Kid Yamamoto in there. Why’d you have to be so rough?”

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You Cannot Fight Georges St. Pierre Unless You Actually Have a Chance at Beating Him

Going into UFC 105 we were told that the winner between the Dan Hardy/Mike Swick bout was going to face Georges St. Pierre for the belt. That’s like saying the winner between the Rocky Balboa/Ivan Drago bout will be stuffed into a rocket and shot at that giant asteroid that’s three days away from destroying the Earth. The UFC welterweight champ hasn’t been challenged since Matt Serra at UFC 69, and putting St. Pierre against just any warm body is a waste of everyone’s time. Therefore, it should a rule that the Canadian can only fight those who actually have a chance at beating him. If this means he has to fight two welterweight challengers at once (St. Pierre vs. Hardy and Swick, St. Pierre vs. Serra and Matt Hughes), then so be it. Breaking this rule should result in punishment levied against UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, something along the lines of grounding him or taking away his comic books.

Jim Genia can be reached at, and he will see you in hell.