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The ABC Just Made Big-Time Improvements to How Fights Are Scored

ABC changes Unified Rules judging

Summary of Changes:

I. Effective Defense Removed as a criteria:
Effective Defense will no longer be considered a requirement for the following reasons:

1. The committee believes that offensive actions should be the only criteria used to score MMA matches. Offensive fighters are fighters which carry the fight and push the action, and make the fight happen.

2. Defense is its own reward. A fighter who chooses to avoid using defensive actions will invariably suffer the consequences. For example if a fighter decides that they do not want to block or avoid a strike, protect themselves from a submission, or avoid a throw or takedown then they will suffer the results of those offensive actions being used against them. The only role defensive action plays is to keep a fighter in the fight longer so that they can attempt to score using offensive actions.

3. Having two fighters avoid offensive actions and rely solely on defense goes against the basic primary consideration of any combative sport: To score using offense.

II. Striking and Grappling are now considered to be given equal weight.
The old scoring system rewarded striking (as a primary consideration) more than grappling. Mixed Martial Arts is based on two skill sets - striking and grappling. The committee felt that grappling should not be a secondary factor in determining the outcome of a match. Grappling has a definitive skill set and athleticism and offensive capabilities which when used correctly can effectively end a fight. As such grappling skills should be rewarded and given equal weight to striking.

This is kind of a big deal.

A chance to make grappling as big of a factor as striking and to relieve some of the importance on defensive tactics and damage is absolutely huge and could end up as a start to solving MMA's judging woes of the last few years. I really hope these changes transfer well from paper to live fights.