MMA Fighters Will Now Have Five Minutes To Recover If Eye Poked In Fight

Some changes have been made to the MMA rules

Photo credit: @drdavidabbasi

An important rule has been passed about eye pokes in MMA.

Eye Poke Changes

The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) met this week for its annual conference, and they have changed some rules.

According to ESPN, ” the ABC approved a rule that would give fighters on the receiving end of an eye poke five minutes to recover before the referee must restart the action.”

Andy Foster, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive officer, revealed that the change should go into effect before UFC 277 this weekend.

“A fighter who has received an eye poke as called by the referee is allowed up to five minutes to recover from the foul as long as the ringside doctors confirms the fighter may possibly continue in the contest once recovered,” the new rule says. “If the fighter states they can see and wish to continue, and confirmed by doctor, the referee shall as soon as practical restart the fight. If the fighter goes over the five-minute time allotment the fight cannot be restarted and the contest must come to an end with the outcome determined by the round and time in which the fight was stopped.”

Eye pokes have become a real problem in MMA, with several fights being ended because of it. In a recent example, Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz was ruled a no-contest at UFC 276 when Munhoz could not recover.

Prior to this change, MMA fighters did not have five minutes to recover from an eye poke as they did from a low blow. While this is a step in the right direction, ultimately, it is just putting a bandaid on the problem, as the gloves need to be fixed.

Neoprene Sleeves are allowed

Another rule change that happened on Wednesday is soft, neoprene sleeves on fighters’ knee or ankle joints will now be allowed. ESPN wrote, “Some athletic commissions already allowed ankle and knee sleeves in competition, but some prohibited them. This change was to add more consistency across the board in MMA.”

An example of his is UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou wearing a sleeve on his knees during his title fight at UFC 270 against Ciryl Gane.

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