A to Z Challenge: I is for Illegal Moves

At first glance, MMA may appear as if it’s a game being played without rules. The sport, however, does operate under a set of guidelines, known as the “Unified Rules of MMA,” that establishes what constitutes an illegal action, which can be punishable from the deduction of points to disqualification.

The language for determining a foul in MMA was agreed upon by the Association of Boxing Commissions on July 30, 2009 and includes:

  • Butting with the head
  • Eye gouging
  • Biting or spitting
  • Fish hooking, which means: inserting fingers or hands into the mouth or nostrils of an opponent and pulling
  • Hair pulling
  • Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck
  • Striking to the spine or back of the head
  • Strikes to the throat or grabbing the trachea
  • Extending fingers toward an opponent’s face and/or eyes
  • Downward pointing elbow strikes that move from a 12 to 6 position
  • Groin attacks
  • Kneeing and/or kicking the head of an opponent who is on the ground
  • Stomping an opponent while they’re on the ground
  • Holding an opponent’s gloves or shorts
  • Small joint manipulation
  • Throwing an opponent out of the cage and/or ring
  • Intentionally placing a finger into any cut or laceration
  • Timidity
  • Using abusive language in the cage and/or ring
  • Flagrant disregarding of the referee’s instructions
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct that causes injury to an opponent
  • Interference from a fighter’s corner
  • Attacking an opponent during the break, when they’re under the care of a referee, or after the bell has sounded to end the round

Of course, fouls still occur or fighters try to bend the rules to their advantage—some even have reputations for particular infractions, but as the sport continues its evolution, referees continue fine-tuning a keen eye for keeping a fight clean.

Prompted from the A to Z Challenge at: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

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