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Six MMA Rule Changes That Need to Happen Immediately

(Also, groin kicks will be allowed in cases when one fighter clearly had it coming.)

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

In the beginning it was anything goes, with 200-pound karate stylists taking on 600-pound sumo wrestlers and Brazilians feverishly jumping up and down shouting “Vale tudo! Vale tudo!” as they beat opponents with sticks. For a new American promotion called the Ultimate Fighting Championship this made for some serious pay-per-view buy rates, but it also made the general public somewhat upset, so rules were introduced. Suddenly gone was the wrestler’s ability to run down his foe with a tractor. Also gone was the kickboxer’s ability to use a prison-shiv. With a new list of fouls and weight classes, “no-holds-barred fighting” became the MMA we know and love today. Unfortunately, over the course of ten years the evolution of the sport has created a new set of problems, and the time has come to implement some very necessary additional rule changes. Here, in no particular order, are the six most important:

A Two-Round Limit on Dry-Humping
When ground-and-pound turns into lay-and-pray and it becomes painfully obvious that the guy on the bottom can’t stop takedowns and the guy on top couldn’t out-grapple a passed-out teenager on prom night, then watching what transpires is akin to torture. At the last Strikeforce/CBS outing, we learned by round 3 that Gegard Mousasi knew no wrestling and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal knew nothing but wrestling. Every round after that was like watching Twister ™ night at the retirement home: boring, horrifying and sad. There needs to be a two-round limit on dry-humping — maybe stand them up immediately or let them duel with pistols at 20 paces. Anything is better than five rounds of man-loving-man.

Heavyweight Fighters Are Forbidden From Punching in the First Round
Props to CP reader Dan W. for suggesting this crucial rule change. We’re tired of paying big money for heavyweight interim title-fights and headliners, only to have them end abruptly in the first round due to excessive punching. Look, you guys are just too damn strong, and it gives you all an unfair advantage against each other. (Yes, that makes complete logical sense, just trust me.) Since we can’t shrink the size of their 7XL hands, we’ll instead ban heavyweights from throwing leather in the first frame. Wrestle, try some kicks and flying knees, work for submissions — that’s all good. But Shane Carwin‘s uppercuts represent the kind of brutality that this sport doesn’t need right now.

No More Dancing
Okay Anderson Silva, we get it. You have superpowers and are leagues above mere mortals when it comes to striking. Now can you please KO the out-classed opponent standing before you? At UFC 101, Silva came out and wrecked Forrest Griffin, but against Demian Maia, Thales Leites and Patrick Cote, it was like watching one guy try feebly to fight while the other guy films a Michael Jackson music video. Thus, no more dancing and no more shenanigans, and all violators should be met with a TASER and a court order prohibiting them from coming within 200 feet of unsupervised children. Just fight, you jackass!

12-to-6 Elbows Will Be Legalized, Except for Jon Jones
Joe Rogan was right: The outlawing of 12-to-6 elbows is a completely arbitrary rule created by uninformed idiots who thought the technique was somehow more dangerous than elbows delivered from any other clock-hand-position. It’s time to put this one to bed once and for all — except for Bones Jones, who really could kill somebody with those things. It’s nothing personal, buddy. Maybe to even things out, Jones could be allowed one small-joint manipulation per fight?

Go Easy On the Japanese
The Japanese have a rich fighting culture steeped in history and tradition. Also, they’ve sucked at MMA lately. Whether it’s the once-great Takanori Gomi getting clobbered by Kenny Florian or the supposedly-great Shinya Aoki looking like a despondent crab against Gilbert Melendez, it’s apparent that the Land of the Rising Sun has lost some its shine. Hey, they gave us a fair number of martial arts disciplines and the Pride Fighting Championships. Maybe it’s time we take it just a little bit easier on them? To make things more competitive, Americans should only be allowed to fight them while drunk, with violators of this new rule subjected to such guilt-inducing phrases as “Now look what you did, you killed Caol Uno,” and “Come on, man, that’s Kid Yamamoto in there. Why’d you have to be so rough?”

You Cannot Fight Georges St. Pierre Unless You Actually Have a Chance at Beating Him
Going into UFC 105 we were told that the winner between the Dan Hardy/Mike Swick bout was going to face Georges St. Pierre for the belt. That’s like saying the winner between the Rocky Balboa/Ivan Drago bout will be stuffed into a rocket and shot at that giant asteroid that’s three days away from destroying the Earth. The UFC welterweight champ hasn’t been challenged since Matt Serra at UFC 69, and putting St. Pierre against just any warm body is a waste of everyone’s time. Therefore, it should a rule that the Canadian can only fight those who actually have a chance at beating him. If this means he has to fight two welterweight challengers at once (St. Pierre vs. Hardy and Swick, St. Pierre vs. Serra and Matt Hughes), then so be it. Breaking this rule should result in punishment levied against UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, something along the lines of grounding him or taking away his comic books.

Jim Genia can be reached at, and he will see you in hell.

Cagepotato Comments

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Big Jumpin Dad- May 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm
I almost smirked once or twice
Ratel- May 7, 2010 at 3:35 am
@ cloiselle - dude, time for you to eat a hot bowl of dicks. you didn't make yourself a ton of buddies last time around, and you're off to a shit start this time.

come out of the closet and admit that you're thiredengine's illegitimate love child. if you can find time in your rigorous training schedule for golden gloves competition, that is.

ask matt hughes, matt serra, john fitch or bj penn if gsp does nothing but lay n pray, cock hole.
Ratel- May 7, 2010 at 3:27 am
@Flat - that idea's been submitted a zillion times, with the adjustment of leaving LHW and HW as they are, but adding a Super HW class above 235.

As for the rest, it was a pretty good article. Quit being so hard on the guy.
stopdrinkingpee- May 6, 2010 at 9:44 pm
Eh, I thought this was pretty good. Not great, not bad, maybe trying a little too hard. I'd like to see more contributions from Jim.

You Cannot Fight Georges St. Pierre Unless You Actually Have a Chance at Beating Him

Honestly, this is the best rule proposal I've ever seen, more important than 12-to-6 elbows or soccer kicks or anything else this side of competent judges.
soupersalad- May 6, 2010 at 6:43 pm
That picture looks an awful lot like several of the videos in my personal collection, anyone have a link to the video?
KillerPug- May 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm
Sounds like someone took one too many nutshots in his life.
danomite- May 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm
Is it just me or does it seem like all the people who have been bashing CagePotato since Fowlkes left are people who I haven't really seen before on here. I don't really keep track of other people on here but I do remember some names that have been here a while and the people bashing CP aren't them.

I say instead of six rule changes for MMA we have 1 rule change for CP. That rule? If you have been visiting the site and/or posting since before we had to register our names to comment then you have the right to criticize the site. If not, then every time you want to write something bad about the site kindly grab the mouse, click the exit button, go outside, and play hide-and-go-fuck-yourself.

Also, one MMA rule that really does need to change. No standups ever! The chance of a stand up is what leads to lay and pray a lot of times. There are two kinds of lay and pray. One is where the man on top just tries to ride out a round and get a decision, and two is when the guy on bottom ties up the man on top in order to stall to get the standup. If there is no chance of a standup the second scenario will never happen, and if you happen to be the guy on bottom and the guy on top is doing the lay-n-pray and you can't get up/reverse position/submit him then tough shit! You deserve to be on the bottom.
ghostboner- May 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm
@Nealio - I lawl'd

I like it. Good sense of humor Jim. Keep on contributing.
Charming Charlie- May 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm
I thought it was a funny setup for the joke at the end Jim Genia can be reached at, and he will see you in hell. But it turns out that address is real. :(
OneMorePunchFujita- May 6, 2010 at 2:51 pm
I miss Ben. This is unfunny.
Get Off Me- May 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm
Sarcasm and Humour are mutually exclusive. I declare this sarcastic, not funny.
dranokills- May 6, 2010 at 1:31 pm
"ReX13 Says:
Thu, 05/06/2010 - 23:20

dranokills Says:

"Hey maybe all the fags, and dancers can start their own show, and get away from ours."

Hey, wait a minute. I have an idea: maybe they could pair professional dancers with popular athletes and celebrities, and then they could have a dance-off. Make it a competition, and each week the public votes on who should stay.

I wonder if anyone would be interested in such a program....."
oh snap I KNEW you would catch that, damn thats funny.
Almost North- May 6, 2010 at 1:21 pm
That show would never work.
ReX13- May 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm
dranokills Says:

"Hey maybe all the fags, and dancers can start their own show, and get away from ours."

Hey, wait a minute. I have an idea: maybe they could pair professional dancers with popular athletes and celebrities, and then they could have a dance-off. Make it a competition, and each week the public votes on who should stay.

I wonder if anyone would be interested in such a program.....

dranokills- May 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm
I thought the dancing rule was spot on for sure.
Hey maybe all the fags, and dancers can start their own show, and get away from ours.
C-Bus Allstar- May 6, 2010 at 1:06 pm
Oh and also, for anyone who took this article seriously:


C-Bus Allstar- May 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm
I'm with Rex on this. If you guys don't like CP, then kindly fuck off.

Personally, I lol'd pretty heartily at the 'GSP, Hardy, Rocky Balboa Asteroid' joke.
Stak40- May 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm
Fellas lets be real. Most of the funniest shit is said in the post anyways. If yall just continue to bitch what will we have left. Give the new guys some time and in the mean while talk about somebodys mama..
cloiselle- May 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm
shouldn't the no dry humping one go hand in hand with GSP winning every fight by doing just that?

welter weight champion of lay n' pray.

when's the last time won a fight on his feet? wait, he hasn't ever won a fight purely via strikes?

Don't even bring up that bullshit fight with jay from almost 5 years ago either

Almost North- May 6, 2010 at 12:48 pm
War Potato, I still love you guys. Awkward man-hugs all around.
TheMadness- May 6, 2010 at 12:29 pm
Jesus, I thought we were over the whole "Cagepotato changed now it sucks" phase. I guess I was wrong.

If you don't like the site, why are you even here?
Mr_Misanthropy- May 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Wow, this was one of the most polarizing pieces of MMA journalism I have seen in a while. The comments were so loveit-hateit-loveit-hateit that my head is literally spinning in circles like a record on a turn table.
Nut Puncher 9000- May 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm
6 things If i were da boss:

1- Refs stopping any fight are allowed to be punched in the face by the finished fighter if said fighter is capable of doing so within 5-10 sec of the stoppage.

2-When different judges see a fight (30-27, 27-30) or (50-45, 45-50), the judge who saw the fight for the losing fighter will be required to step into the ring immediately after the fight, announce who they are, and voice why they saw it the way they did.

3-If you acquire a title by decision, you will rematch the old champion. Period. (This rule will not apply to Champions retaining by decision)

4-Minimum Champion paydays of at least 100k. If this value exceeds your contract it will remain in affect as long as you hold the title. Should you lose, it is back to contracted pay.

5-Contracted fighters are not allowed to refuse fights. Ever.

6-The boss is always right. You might have already known this but if I am the boss I dont want any shenanigans.

iDestroy- May 6, 2010 at 11:57 am
Guys we can't let this article tear us apart! We made it through mom and dad's break up, surely we can make it through this. Right? Let's hug it out.
El Guapo- May 6, 2010 at 11:46 am
Fellas, please don't make me go back and pull quotes from the posts on this thread. There's entirely way too many. Of those, I'd say at least ten were comments of the "This site sucks now!" variety. Not this "article" sucks, but CP in it's entirety.

To which I(appropriately,I thought) responded.. Go to f'kn bloodyelbow or sherdog or some shit!! No offense, just sayin..