Published at Sunday, 15 December 2019. Male. By Abby Marshall.
The UFC was instrumental in pushing for a set of rules to standardize the sport globally, and by 2009 regulatory bodies in the United States and many fighting promotions worldwide had adopted standards known as the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Under these rules, MMA participants compete in a ring or a fenced area, and they fight using padded fingerless gloves but do not wear shoes or headgear. They may strike, throw, kick, or grapple with an opponent, and attacks may be launched either from a standing position or on the ground. However, head butting, gouging (thrusting a finger or thumb into an opponents eye), biting, hair pulling, and groin attacks of any kind are prohibited. Downward elbow strikes, throat strikes, and strikes to the spine or to the back of the head are also illegal, as are certain attacks against a grounded opponent, including kicking or kneeing the head. If a fighter violates a rule, the referee may issue a warning, deduct points, or—particularly when a flagrant foul is deemed to have been committed—disqualify the offending contestant.
In 2006 the UFC moved to capitalize on the sport’s growing popularity by buying other MMA organizations, including the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). In 2007 the UFC also purchased the Japan-based Pride Fighting Championships (known as Pride). The UFC disbanded the WFA, acquiring top WFA fighters such as Quinton (“Rampage”) Jackson, but continued to operate the WEC as a distinct entity until 2010. The UFC had planned to have Pride and UFC champions meet annually in a so-called Super Bowl of mixed martial arts, but the Pride purchase proved to be problematic. Though Pride ultimately was also disbanded, the UFC did take on a number of top Pride fighters.
On April 3, 2001, the NJSACB held a meeting to discuss the regulation of mixed martial arts events. This meeting attempted to unify the myriad rules and regulations which had been utilized by the different mixed martial arts organizations. At this meeting, the proposed uniform rules were agreed upon by the NJSACB, several other regulatory bodies, numerous promoters of mixed martial arts events and other interested parties in attendance. At the conclusion of the meeting, all parties in attendance were able to agree upon a uniform set of rules to govern the sport of mixed martial arts.
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