CSAC’s Andy Foster to Submit Proposal for Grounded Fighter Rule Change

UFC
February 1, 2024
California State Athletic Commission executive director Andy Foster wants to clear all confusion regarding when a fighter is considered grounded.

Foster is the man credited for taking radical steps like setting up a pension fund for fighters, setting up rules to prevent extreme weight cuts and barring judges from working events on opposite sides of the country over the same weekend.

Fighters competing at UFC 298 on Feb. 17 in Anaheim, California will be advised to move up a weight class if they put on more than 10% of their body weight plus one pound on fight night.

Foster now wants to remove one of the most confusing rules in mixed martial arts: fighters being considered grounded with their hands on the ground.

In a most recent example, Arnold Allen landed multiple knees to Movsar Evloev’s head from a headlock position during their UFC 297 clash. Evloev desperately tried to put one hand on the ground to be deemed grounded. While Evloev’s plan worked, as referee Marc Goddar halted the fight, many thought the knees were legal as the Russian’s hand on the ground wasn’t bearing weight.

Foster wants to remove hands altogether from the grounded fighter equation, weight-bearing or not. Foster plans to forward his proposal at the next Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) meeting, which means it will be applicable to all commissions if implemented.

“We’re going to get rid of the hand. That’s my proposal. We’re going to get rid of it. If you want to be down, you need to put something else down. Knee, back, anything. Anything other than — you can’t be standing up, putting your hand on the ground. It’s caused too much confusion,” Foster recently said on “MMA Hour.”

“A rule that we put in for safety has in fact created an unsafe environment, and it’s created an untenable environment for referees to regulate this. They all view it differently.”

Another rule Foster wants to abolish is the 12-to-6 elbow, which is the cause of the only loss on two-division champion Jon Jones’ otherwise perfect record.

“It’s just silly,” Foster said. “That rule is just, what about 11-5, if we’re going to use the clock? Or 1-7? Those aren’t illegal. 3-9 is an awful hard strike from side control, but that’s not banned. It doesn’t make any sense is the point I’m trying to make.”

“Either you ban elbows or you allow them. This is the only one that’s not — and it’s poorly enforced. Hardly ever is it enforced, and when it is enforced, it’s enforced wrong. And you certainly shouldn’t have people being DQ’d over this. You go back and you have people arguing, ‘Well, it wasn’t straight down.’ I’ve had all this. This rule is untenable as well. Terrible thing we’ve put our referees in. We should not have rules on the books that are clearly unenforceable.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/CSACs-Andy-Foster-to-Submit-Proposal-for-Grounded-Fighter-Rule-Change-192471

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