Amateur MMA Rules

Ways to victory

  • Knockout (KO): as soon as a fighter becomes unconscious due to strikes, his opponent is declared the winner. As MMA rules allow ground fighting, the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to an unconscious fighter.
  • Technical Knockout (TKO)
    • Referee Stoppage: the referee may stop a match in progress if:
      • a fighter becomes dominant to the point where the opponent is unable to intelligently defend himself from attacks, which may occur as quickly as a few seconds;
      • a fighter appears to have developed a severe injury: the referee will call for a time out if a fighter's ability to continue is in question as a result of apparent injuries, such as a large cut. The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.
  • Corner stoppage: a fighter's corner men may announce defeat on the fighter's behalf by throwing in the towel during the match in progress or between rounds.
  • Retirement: if a fighter feels unable to continue after the conclusion of a round, s/he may inform or have the corner inform the referee that s/he forfeits the match to his opponent.
  • Submission: a fighter may admit defeat during a match by:
    • a tap on the opponent's body;
    • a tap on the mat or floor;
    • verbal announcement.
  • Technical Submission: a referee may intervene and call a stop to the contest when:
    • a fighter appears to be unconscious from a grappling hold;
    • a fighter appears to have suffered a serious injury from a grappling hold.
  • Decision: if the match goes the distance, then the outcome of the bout is determined by three judges. The judging criteria are organization-specific.
    • Unanimous Decision: if all three judges on the panel score a bout unanimously in favor of one fighter
    • Split Decision: if two judges on the panel score a bout in favor of one fighter, with one judge scoring the bout in favor of the other
    • Majority Decision: if two judges on the panel score a bout in favor of one fighter, with one judge scoring the bout a draw
    • Draw: if all three judges on the panel score a bout unanimously in favor of neither fighter.
    • Split Draw: if one judge on the panel score a bout in favor of one fighter, the second in favor of his opponent, and the third in favor of neither fighter
    • Majority Draw: if two judges score the bout a draw, with one judge scoring the bout in favor of one fighter
  • Technical Decision: if a fighter behind or even on points commits an intentional foul during the course of the match, and the opponent is unable to continue due to the injury or injuries inflicted by the foul at any subsequent point in the fight, the match is stopped and awarded to injured fighter
  • Technical Draw: if a fighter ahead on points commits an intentional foul during the course of the match, and the opponent is unable to continue due to the injury or injuries inflicted by the foul at any subsequent point in the fight, the match is stopped and awarded to injured fighter
  • Forfeit: a fighter or his representative may forfeit a match prior to the beginning of the match, thereby losing the match.
  • Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction. Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is injured and unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.
  • No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest".

 

Fouls

As set out by the Association of Boxing Commissions:

  • Holding or grabbing the fence
  • Holding opponent’s shorts or gloves
  • Butting with the head
  • Eye gouging of any kind
  • Biting or spitting at an opponent
  • Hair pulling
  • Fish hooking
  • Groin attacks of any kind
  • Intentionally placing a finger into any orifice, or into any cut or laceration of your opponent
  • Elbow Strikes (forearms) of any kind
  • Small joint manipulation
  • Strikes to the spine or back of the head
  • Heel kicks to the kidney
  • Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
  • Clawing, pinching, twisting the flesh or grabbing the clavicle
  • Kicking the head of a grounded opponent
  • Kneeing the Head of a grounded opponent
  • Stomping of a grounded fighter
  • The use of abusive language in fighting area
  • Any unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to opponent
  • Attacking an opponent on or during the break
  • Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee
  • Timidity (avoiding contact, or consistent dropping of mouthpiece, or faking an injury)
  • Interference from a mixed martial artist's seconds
  • Throwing an opponent out of the ring or caged area
  • Flagrant disregard of the referee’s instructions
  • Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his or her head or neck (see Piledriver)
  • Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat
  • Heel Hooks or any twisting knee/leg locks
  • Twisters or any spine Manipulation Techniques
  • Knees to the head
  • Diving Escape to escape a standing Rear Choke attack
  • Elbows or forearms of any kind
  • Neck Cranks to finish; they can be used to pass guard

When a foul is charged, the referee in their discretion may deduct one or more points as a penalty. If a foul incapacitates a fighter, then the match may end in a disqualification if the foul was intentional, or a no contest if unintentional. If a foul causes a fighter to be unable to continue later in the bout, it ends with a technical decision win to the injured fighter if the injured fighter is ahead on points, otherwise it is a technical draw.

Rounds

Every round is 4 minutes in duration with a one minute rest period in-between rounds. Non-title matches must not exceed three rounds (The governing commission can grant dispensation for non-title five round bouts. Title matches can be sanctioned for five rounds.