Additional ABC Recommendations on ‘medical stoppage’, instant replay and hand wraps

By Dane McGuire, U.S. Correspondent

Shortly after the adoption of four new weight classes into the Unified Rules of MMA, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) has also adopted four other recommendations. These regard: a medical stoppage TKO, further restrictions on the use of instant replay, hand wraps, and joint/body coverings and are explained below.

A bout will now be ruled a medical stoppage TKO in the event that a combatant “visibly loses control of a bodily function” (vomit, urine, or bowels) while a round is in progress. In the event that this occurs during a rest period between rounds, said combatant must be cleared by the event’s overseeing doctor. This was initially approved back in February following a 2015 pro-am event in Kansas.

The use of instant replay was also approved by the ABC in February and was limited to fight-ending sequences containing a foul. As of July 27, instant replay use was limited to only events that are filmed in addition to the sequence restriction.

Per USA Today’s, “A maximum of one roll of white soft cloth gauze – of any brand – is permitted per hand and can be no more than 2 inches wide by 15 yards in length. A maximum of one roll of white athletic-type tape – also any brand – is permitted per hand and can be no more than 1 1/4 inches wide by 10 feet in length.”

Concerning body coverings, the ABC ruled that taping will only be allowed on a fighter’s hands. Sleeves are allowed on knees as well as ankles as they have been in the past, so long as the sleeves are unpadded. Any other materials were considered unsafe or ruled out due to the possibility of giving a fighter an advantage.

Sean Wheelock, a former Bellator commentator and the current head of the ABC Rules Committee told MMAJunkie that the changes could take effect fairly soon as they didn’t require any legal changes.

It’s important to note that individual state athletic commissions can choose whether or not to adopt ABC rule changes and the new weight classes, making them only recommendations. IMMAF will review the updates for potential use in its adapted Unified Amateur Rules.