MMA gets instant replay!

Anthony Johnson could not continue after being poked in the eye by Kevin Burns at UFC Fight Night 14.
Anthony Johnson could not continue after being poked in the eye at UFC Fight Night 14.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has officially decided to implement the use of instant replay in mixed martial arts according to a report from Fighters Only.

NSAC executive Keith Kizer spoke about the new rule. “The commission adopted a regulation today which will be implemented within the next 30 days to allow the referee to review a ending of a bout – if he so desires – to see if he wants to change the call.”

The instant replay rule will be used in those situations when there are questions surrounding the ending of a fight.  Kizer explained. “It will be on the immediate ending of a fight due to injury and the referee feels that it would be beneficial to him or her to review the tape to see what the cause of the injury was,” Kizer said. “What caused that injury – was it a foul, was it a legal blow?”

The instant replay rule is a huge step for MMA. Cases such as the Anthony Johnson eye poke incident, where a fighter loses because the referee did not see a foul take place, will never have to happen again.

In addition to instant replay, another regulation entitled “the B.J. Penn rule,” has been added in an effort to deal with the practice of greasing in an official manner. Kizer spoke about the new greasing rule.

“Boxing rules state that you can’t have excessive greasing,” said Kizer. “But we clarified that today and made it specific to MMA, that you cannot have any type of foreign substance on your body, hair, gloves or clothing that could result in an unfair advantage.”

In the end, the referee will still hold final authority. “But again it is up to the referee as the sole arbiter to judge whether or not any such foul took place and if it did, how it should be handled,” Kizer said.

The evolution of MMA continues.