In a significant move that has MMA enthusiasts buzzing with excitement, California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster is set to revolutionize the sport by proposing two pivotal rule changes.
For years, fans and media alike have criticized the perplexing rule of allowing competitors to be considered “down” with just one hand on the ground. This stops opponents from delivering a knee to the head and since they don’t want to be disqualified.
This provision has not only hindered the flow of many matches but has also prompted calls for a uniform ruleset similar to RIZIN across all promotions.
Taking a bold stance, Andy Foster addressed the issue in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. He declared the imminent elimination of the hand rule, stating: “We’re gonna get rid of the hand. That’s not proposal, we’re gonna get rid of it. If you wanna be down, you need to put something else down. Knee, back, anything other than ─ you can’t be standing up putting your hand on the ground.”
“It’s caused too much confusion. A rule that we put in for safety has, in fact, created an unsafe environment and it’s created an untenable environment for referees to regulate.”
Foster then summed up the issue in one statement quite accurately. He said: “You can’t have unified rules where the rules aren’t unified.”
Addressing another controversial rule, Foster expressed his intent to discard the restriction on 12-6 elbows. This rule notably resulted in Jon Jones’ sole defeat in his professional MMA career back in 2009.
Fosten went on to question the inconsistency in the rules. He said: “I don’t even know if there’s anybody that disagrees with that. What about 11-5 if we’re gonna use the clock, or 1-7? Those aren’t illegal. 3-9’s an awful hard strike from side control, but that’s not banned. It doesn’t make any sense I guess is the point I’m trying to make. Either you ban elbows or you allow it. I mean, this is the only one that’s not and it’s poorly enforced.”
Foster’s commitment to enhancing safety and clarity within the sport demonstrates a progressive step towards a more streamlined and standardized rule framework.