Rules of Encagement
Past Examples of Rule Exploits and Violations
BUTTING THE HEAD
July 12, 1996 – Mark Coleman used head butts in bunches en route to winning the UFC 10 eight-man tournament. It was Coleman’s fi rst tournament and the head butt was an important part of the now famous Ground and Pound style of “The Hammer”.
May 26, 2000 –Andrei Semenov used head butts to subdue Phil Ensminger at the WVC 11 in the semifi nals of the eight-man tournament. Semenov would lose in the fi – nal to fellow Red Devil fi ghter Amar Suloev.
August 27, 2000 – Wanderlei Silva head butted Guy Mezger at Pride 10. Silva had Mezger in trouble in the corner and even though the head butt didn’t end the bout, it sure added to the damage Mezger absorbed.
EYE GOUGING OF ANY KIND
July 27, 1997 – Mark Kerr stopped Dan Bobish with a chin to eye in the fi nal of the UFC 14 four–man tournament. Kerr won the event and went on to win the UFC 15 fourman tournament three months later.
BITING OR SPITTING
May 23, 1998 – Gilbert Yvel took a bite out of the left pectoral muscle of Kareem Barklaev at the 1998 AFC European Championship. Yvel lost the bout via disqualifi cation and the referee received a thrashing from Russian coach and RINGS veteran Volk Han.
First enforced at UFC 15. September 9, 1994 – Royce Gracie used Kimo Leopoldo’s ponytail as a handle to keep the Hawaiian striker’s head down at UFC 3. Gracie would eventually submit Kimo but he took a lot of abuse and dropped out of the tournament (though his exit from the tourney was offi cially attributed to heat stroke).
GROIN ATTACKS OF ANY KIND
This strike was illegal in the fi rst UFC but made legal in UFC 2. Then it was permanently enforced at UFC 15.
December 16, 1994 – Keith Hackney pounded Joe Son in the groin in the quarterfi nals of UFC 4. Hackney would face Royce Gracie in the semifi nals and lose by armbar.
November 9, 1996 – Yoshiki Takahashi not only attacked Wallid Ismail’s groin at UFC 12, he ripped the Brazilian’s athletic supporter out of his shorts before striking him. It was one of 7 single bouts on the card with Vitor Belfort taking the night’s 4-man tourney.
STRIKES TO THE SPINE OR BACK OF THE HEAD
First enforced at UFC 15. February 26, 2000 – Gilbert Yvel repeatedly elbowed Dan Henderson in the back of the head during their quarterfi nal bout at the RINGS King of Kings ’99 fi nal event. Henderson would beat Yvel by decision and take decision wins over Renato Sobral and Rodrigo Nogueira all in the same night to capture the RINGS King of Kings championship.
HEEL KICKS TO THE KIDNEY
This technique falls under “kicking a downed opponent” even though the strike is thrown when both fi ghts are on the mat. First enforced at UFC 15. April 25, 1980 – Rickson Gracie used heels to the kidneys extensively in his fi ght with Casimiro “Rei Zulu” Nascimento in their Canal 100 Vale Tudo fi ght in Brazil. Rickson and the rest of the Gracies used the kick to the kidneys as a standard in their ground game. The technique was eventually banned due to the fact repeated kicks cause nephrotic tissue in the kidney to retain water, swell and cause bleeding and other damage.
12. THROAT STRIKES
This technique was legal and used in the early UFC events. December 16, 2004 – Keith Hackney used a throat choke to submit Joe Son in the quarterfi nals of the UFC 4 eight-man tournament. Son would tap from the choke and Hackney would advance to face Royce Gracie, losing via submission.
STOMPING OF A GROUNDED FIGHTER
First enforced at UFC 28. November 12, 1993 – Gerard Gordeau stomped out Kevin Rosier in less than a minute to advance to the semifi nals of UFC 1. The Dutchman would be submitted by Royce Gracie in the tournament fi nal. June 6, 2003 – Wes Sims stomped the head Frank Mir in their bout at UFC 43. Mir was awarded the win and got his revenge over Sims, stopping him with strikes 7 months later at UFC 46.
THE USE OF ABUSIVE LANGUAGE IN FIGHTING AREA
This practice has never been considered proper but the Mixed Martial Arts Unifi ed Rules of Combat introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board offi – cially made the violation illegal.
THROWING AN OPPONENT OUT OF THE FIGHTING AREA
This practice has never been considered proper but the MMA Unifi ed Rules of Combat introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board offi – cially made the violation illegal. February 26, 2000 – Renato Sobral threw Mikhail Illoukhine over the ropes during their quarterfi nal bout at the RINGS King of Kings ’99 fi nal event. Illoukhine looked shaken and Sobral acted as if nothing happened. “Babalu” went on to beat Illoukhine by submission, beat Kiyoshi Tamura by decision and lose to Dan Henderson in the tournament’s fi nal bout.
FLAGRANT DISREGARD OF THE REFEREE’S INSTRUCTIONS
This practice has never been considered proper but the MMA Unifi ed Rules of Combat introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board offi – cially made the violation illegal. November 13, 2004 – Gilbert Yvel KOed referee Petteri Maunu during his bout with Atte Backman at Fight Festival 12. Yvel punched the ref for repeatedly restarting the fi ghters. You may notice Gilbert’s name appears a number of times on this list.
SPIKING AN OPPONENT TO THE CANVAS ON HIS OR HER HEAD OR NECK
This technique has never been considered legal but the MMA Unifi ed Rules of Combat introduced by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board offi – cially made the violation illegal. August 28, 2002 – Bob Sapp slammed Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira early in their bout at Pride Shockwave show. For moments everyone thought they might’ve witnessed the end of “Minotauro” but the Brazilian fi ghter recovered and eventually submitted “The Beast” with an armbar in the second round.