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*VIDEO* – John McCarthy Explains 2017 Unified Rule Changes

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MMA Unifed Rules

The most widely used ruleset when it comes to MMA is set to be updated in 2017 in a move which will remove and redefine how fouls are called, as well as how fights are to be judged.

In a video for the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), veteran referee John McCarthy – who helped outline the original unified rulebook – has helped to explain some of the new rules and regulations which will be coming into full effect in the new year.

The biggest change that the unified rules are facing is a clarification on how judges are expected to score fights. Where the previous emphasis was focused on effective striking, effective grappling, aggression and ring/cage control, the new ruleset will see fights initially boiled down to just striking and grappling.

“Those [striking and grappling] are the two elements that make a fight,” says McCarthy. “If we don’t have two fighters that are either striking or grappling, you got one looking aggressive or one trying to get position in the cage: that’s dancing, it’s not fighting. There are only two elements that are the fight: the striking of the fight, the grappling in the fight. Thats what we’re looking at.”

“If 90% of the [round] is striking, we want you to go with a heavy emphasis on the striking. If 90% of the round was on the ground with grappling, the heavier emphasis goes with the grappling. Who is doing the most to impact the fight and bring the fight to the end?”

“We’re looking at the word of ‘impact’ as our most important element of giving credit in the fight.”

McCarthy then goes on to explain that judges are expected to favour heavier blows in a round which consequently have a bigger impact on their opponent.

“If you are starting to give more credit to numbers over quality, we’re making a mistake. If we have one fighter who’s landed six jabs and we’ve got another fighter that’s landed one beautiful right cross that’s hurt his opponent, that person with that one right cross is winning our fight. When it comes to the ground, same thing. Who’s going after submission’s, who’s putting his opponent in dangerous positions where they have to defend to get themselves out.”

‘Big’ John McCarthy also provides a clarification that if a judge cannot separate a round based on the two fighter’s striking and grappling, the judge in question should then move onto who they feel has been the most “aggressive” – the fighter who has been most offensive, the more out of the two trying to force the fight. If a judge cannot split aggression, they shall then move onto “ring or cage control” and if they cannot find a winner of the round based on those extra criteria, they should then award a 10-10 round.

10-8 rounds should now also be judged on “the three ‘D’s’: damage, domination and duration”, with a “large margin/variance between the two fighters” needed for two of those three criteria. 10-7 rounds are to be judged by the same standard but only awarded where there is an “overwhelming” margin between the two fighters.

Another big change is happening with regards to how fighters extend their fingers towards their opponent. If a fighter is outwardly extending their fingers in the direction of their opponent’s eyes, the referee should now warn/stop and warn a fighter and should go as far as deducting points or even disqualifying repeat offenders. Extending fingers towards anywhere other than the eyes is acceptable however but if a fighter aims their fingers towards an opponent’s eyes, they should be penalised.

The updated rules will also see ‘grounded fighters’ redefined. The old rules followed along the same lines of boxing in that anything touching the floor other than the soles of the feet should see a fighter deemed ‘grounded’. Now, however, two hands are needed to be touching the floor in order to be considered ‘grounded’ in addition to the old guidelines in that if a fighter has anything touching the ground other than hands and feet, they are ‘grounded’ and cannot be kneed or kicked.

McCarthy also confirmed that heel kicks to the kidneys are no longer illegal nor is grabbing the clavicle.

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Fight Announcements

Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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