UFC - Ultmiate Fighting Championship Rules - Mixed Martial Arts - UFC Rules - UFC There are no Rules! - UFC Mixed Martial Arts Rules


Rules of the UFC: Ultmiate Fighting Championship


Even though The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has the tagline 'There are no rules!' The UFC has implemented basic rules to help gain marketability in the highly censored US TV Markets

The UFC used the "There are no rules!" tagline in the early 1990s, but the UFC did in fact operate with limited rules. There was no biting, no eye gouging, and the system frowned on (but allowed) techniques such as hair pulling, headbutting, groin strikes and fish-hooking.

In fact, in a UFC 4 qualifying match, competitors Jason Fairn and Guy Mezger agreed not to pull hair as they both wore pony tails tied back for the match. Additionally, that same event saw a matchup between Keith Hackney and Joe Son in which Hackney unleashed a series of groin shots against Son while on the ground.

The UFC had a reputation, especially in the early days, as an extremely violent event, as evidenced by a disclaimer in the beginning of the UFC 5 broadcast which warned audiences of the violent nature of the sport.

UFC 5 also introduced the first singles match, called 'The Superfight'. This was an important development because singles matches would become a staple in the UFC for years to come. 'The Superfight' began as a non-tournament match that would determine the first reigning UFC Champion for tournament winners to face; it later evolved into a match that could feature either title matches or non-title matches. The 'Superfight' would eventually completely phase out tournament matches; by UFC Brazil, the UFC abandoned the tournament format for an entire card of singles matches (aside from a one time UFC Japan tournament featuring Japanese fighters). UFC 6 was the first event to feature the crowning of the first non-tournament UFC

The current rules for the Ultimate Fighting Championship were originally established by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board. The "Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts" that New Jersey established has been adopted in other states that regulate mixed martial arts, including Nevada, Louisiana, and California. These rules are also used by many other promotions within the United States, becoming mandatory for those states that have adopted the rules, and so have become the standard de facto set of rules for professional mixed martial arts across the country.

Every round in UFC competition is five minutes in duration. Title matches have five such rounds, and non-title matches have three. There is a one-minute rest period between rounds.

Judging criteria: The ten-point must system is in effect for all UFC fights; three judges score each round and the winner of each receives ten points, the loser nine points or fewer. If the round is even, both fighters receive ten points. In New Jersey, the fewest points a fighter can receive is 7, and in other states by custom no fighter receives fewer than 8.

Fouls: The Nevada State Athletic Commission currently lists the following as fouls:

  1. Butting with the head.
  2. Eye gouging of any kind.
  3. Biting.
  4. Hair pulling.
  5. Fish hooking.
  6. Groin attacks of any kind.
  7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
  8. Small joint manipulation.
  9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
  10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
  11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
  12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
  13. Grabbing the clavicle.
  14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
  15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
  16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
  17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
  18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.
  19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
  20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.
  21. Spitting at an opponent.
  22. Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
  23. Holding the ropes or the fence.
  24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.
  25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
  26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
  27. Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round.
  28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
  29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.
  30. Interference by the corner.
  31. Throwing in the towel during competition.
When a foul is charged, the referee in their discretion may deduct one or more points as a penalty. If a foul incapacitates a fighter, then the match may end in a disqualification if the foul was intentional, or a no contest if unintentional. If a foul causes a fighter to be unable to continue later in the bout, it ends with a technical decision win to the injured fighter if the injured fighter is ahead on points, otherwise it is a technical draw.