IMMAF President Applauds ONE Championship Rules Change

Kerrith Brown

Pictured: IMMAF President Kerrith Brown It has been reported today that Asian MMA powerhouse, ONE Championship, has banned the controversial use of soccer kicks of grounded opponents from its matches. The decision was reported at following an announcement by ONE Championship chairman, Chatri Sityodtong, at a media scrum yesterday. The new prohibition comes into effect at today’s event in Macau, ONE: Heroes Of The World. Classified as a foul under the Unified Rules of MMA, soccer kicks have remained permissible in the professional rule sets of a number of MMA promotions globally, including ONE Championship. While Sityodtong disputed any heightened safety risks attached to the technical ground kick, he explained the decision being made in order to protect the image of the sport: “There’s bad publicity. If we really want to go mainstream, people will have to understand that. We have to make certain steps. Everything we are doing, especially with the investment from Temasek and Heliconia, it has really raised the bar for everything that we do in terms of institutionalisation of the sport.” IMMAF’s President, Kerrith Brown, applauded the decision saying: “Based on reports, this is a very positive decision on the part of ONE Championship’s management. We welcome any moves that, first and foremost, increase safety for competitors of MMA and also that improve the perception of our highly technical sport. The rule change would bring ONE Championship rules more into alignment with other international MMA rule sets, including the Unified Rules of MMA. Common rules will promote an easier transition for athletes moving up through the international amateur ranks, including IMMAF veterans. “It is a very positive time for the development of MMA as a sport, as leading private promoters across different regions are initiating great strides to improve its safety and regulatory aspects. While MMA remains largely unregulated globally, it is both inspiring and empowering that such a drive is gaining momentum from within the sport itself and led by its stakeholders. ”  

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