The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) met on Thursday at their annual meeting in Montreal. The Commission is responsible for regularly reviewing rules in an attempt to provide greater safety and unity for Boxing and MMA within the United States and Canada. No matter what changes the ABC implements, it will still be at the discretion of each State’s athletic commissions whether or not to adopt them.
The primary topics of conversation that directly affect MMA and its rules moving forward were the clarification of what constitutes an illegal elbow to the back of the head, a downward striking elbow, as well as adding weight classes and changing their weight ranges.
Elbows to the Back of the Head– ABC has clearly defined this area as the top of the head through the centerline of the skull to the spine, with a one-inch variance to either side.
Downward Striking Elbows – Previously, all elbow strikes required to be made in a swiping motion, and downward strikes were illegal. ABC has decided that all downward striking elbows will now be allowed, except to the back of an opponent’s head.
Changes to the 14 Weight Classes:
Flyweight (Up to 105 lbs),
Super flyweight (Over 105.1 to 115 lbs)
Bantamweight (Over 115.1 to 125 lbs)
Super Bantamweight (Over 125.1 to 135 lbs)
Featherweight (Over 135.1 to 145 lbs)
Lightweight (Over 145.1 to 155 lbs)
Super lightweight (Over 155.1 to 165 lbs)
Welterweight (Over 165.1 to 175 lbs)
Super Welterweight (Over 175.1 to 185 lbs)
Middleweight (Over 185.1 to 195 lbs)
Super Middleweight (Over 195.1 to 205 lbs)
Light Heavyweight (Over 205.1 to 225 lbs)
Heavyweight (Over 225.1 to 265 lbs)
Super Heavyweight (Over 265.1 lbs)
ABC’s goal is to add consistency and uniformity to the MMA’s rules. Although it is not guaranteed that all states will adopt these changes, at least there is a set structure and guideline that each State can refer to when deciding to revise their current rules.
The United State’s most prominent Commission is The Nevada State Athletic Commission. They usually revise their rules and regulations every year and are scheduled to make their next assessment next year.