Commissions to consider allowing some knees & kicks to downed opponents

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

The Association of Boxing Commissions will consider a revision of the unified rules of mixed martial arts that would give referees the discretion to allow knees and kicks to the head of a downed opponent if the ref believes that opponent is trying to draw a foul.

Demetrious Johnson might just have the last laugh over his UFC on Fox 6 opponent John Dodson who deliberately put his hand on the mat to draw a foul when Johnson kneed him in the head.

That is if three of the most influential athletic commission heads in the U.S. get their way at the 2013 annual meeting of the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC). Nick Lembo of New Jersey, Keith Kizer of Nevada and Bernie Profato of Ohio have submitted the following rules change (via MMA Fighting):

"Referees should instruct the fighters that they may still be considered a standing fighter even if they have a finger or portion of the hand (or entire hand) on the canvas. In the discretion of the referee, a fighter who has a finger or hand on the canvas may still be legally struck in the head with knees and kicks. The referee may decide that the downed fighter is placing his or her finger or hand down without doing so for an offensive or countering maneuver in an attempt to advance or improve their position. The referee may decide that the downed fighter is instead simply trying to draw a foul. If the referee decides that the fighter is "touching down" simply to benefit from a foul, the referee may consider that fighter a standing fighter and decide that no foul has occurred."

Additionally the referee would have the option of warning or deducting a point from the offending fighter.


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