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Utah Underground >> SB 149: striking a downed opponent


3/2/05 1:43 PM
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DJColdfusion
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Edited: 02-Mar-05 03:56 PM
Member Since: 03/21/2003
Posts: 740
 
Alright fight fans, its time to put your email where your mouth is. House Bill SB 149 is being put into statute and you need to act if you want to change the knee down rule. Do something about it or just STFU! SB 149 Section E subsection F states that “(e) contest rules prohibit contestants from: [ . . . ](f) striking of a downed opponent by a contestant while the contestant remains on the contestant's feet;” In other words, if you hate the “knee down rule” then you need to contact your Senator or Representative NOW and let them know why this rule is a bad idea. One suggestion: BE ARTICULATE! Whether you contact them through email or telephone, here are some suggested talking points: 1. The sport is “Mixed Martial Arts,” not “Ultimate Fighting,” “Ultimate Combat,” or god forbid “No Holds Barred.” Let’s give ourselves every advantage that we can and use terminology that won’t cause an immediate prejudicial response from our representatives. 2. Don’t use the word “fight.” Try “contest” instead. As I mentioned in #1, we need every advantage possible. 3. The term “downed” is not truly applicable to Mixed Martial Arts. In boxing “downed” is easily defined because no action occurs on the ground. In Mixed Martial Arts “downed can mean someone who has “pulled” guard by jumping to the ground (a valid tactical move), someone who has been knocked to the ground but is still capable of continuing, someone who has been taken down (as in amateur wrestling), or to a pair of fighters who have stumbled and fallen to the ground. All of the above definitions of “downed” fighters still have the ability to progress the contest and protect themselves. Mixed Martial Arts is not boxing, we have a better safety record than boxing, and becoming a “downed” fighter does not mean that you cannot protect yourself in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. 4. The knee down rule (SB 149 Section E subsection F) conflicts with other rules, including the fighter’s obligations to progress the progress and protect themselves. If fighter A is standing and attempts to pass fighter B's guard and fighter B strikes fighter A then, under the current knee down rule, fighter A has to drop back down to his knees and retaliate (giving up on improving their position) or risk injury by leaving themselves open to strikes as they continue to attempt their guard pass. Striking the downed opponent in this case prevents the downed opponent from injuring the standing fighter. 5. Since 1900 there have been 1000 documented deaths in boxing. There has NEVER been even a single death in a sanctioned Mixed Martial Arts match. In Boxing the goal is to pummel and continue to pummel your opponent until they are unconscious. And while knockouts do happen in Mixed Martial Arts, it is much more common that a win by submission will occur. Striking a downed opponent (which SB 149 will block) is most typically used as a way to pass an opponent’s guard and setup a submission that will generally cause the “downed” fighter to be struck fewer times throughout the course of the fight. It is honorable to tap (resign) in our sport. If you quit in a boxing match you may not fight again. Look at Roberto Duran after the "no mas" match with Ray Leonard. A KO is not the only means of victory in Mixed Martial Arts. If you take your opponent down and finish the fight on the ground you greatly reduce the chances of being knocked out or of sustaining a serious injury, this includes injuries that could potentially occur from strikes received while on the ground. Obviously there are injuries, this is a contact sport, but the injuries are no more severe then those suffered by collegiate wrestlers or football players.” Allowing strikes on a downed opponent will actually make the already relatively safe sport of Mixed Martial Arts even safer. 6. Mixed Martial Arts is a growing force in Utah. We now have promoters and fighters traveling to our state to our state to participate in and promote Mixed Martial Arts competitions. The sport features athletes from a variety of background including High School and College Wrestling, Olympic Judo, Wrestling, and even Tae Kwon Do, professional Football, Tri-athletes, and so much more. These MMA shows present a small yet growing area of revenue generation that vastly out strips the revenue created through amateur and professional boxing. SB 149 will choke the growth of Mixed Martial Arts because it will place Utah as an anomaly within the Mixed Martial Arts community within the United States. Mixed Martial Arts is governed in most states by The Unified Rules. These states include New Jersey, Nevada, Mississippi, California, and several others. Fighters and Promoters will resist coming to Utah due to our set of rules requiring a non-standard set of procedures. That’s just a rough idea of things you can discuss. It is not at all eloquent or well thought out. Please take what you can from the above information and do what you can to make it work for you. Edit it, reword it, or don’t use it at all. Just do something more than bitching about it on the forum. You can find the contact information for your senators and representatives here: http://le.utah.gov/Documents/find.htm Good luck! And remember, Speak Out or STFU! DJC
3/8/05 11:27 AM
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DJColdfusion
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Edited: 08-Mar-05
Member Since: 03/21/2003
Posts: 742
The bill passed unanimously with 5 abstaining. The kneedown rule stays, atleast for now. Part of our problem is that the rule was presented as one line in a large modification to the rules. We needed more participation from the communnity before it left the commission and went to the legislature. It will be much harder to make any modifications from this point forward. Thanks to anyone who wrote a letter.
4/6/05 12:50 PM
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Scott Spain
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Edited: 06-Apr-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 25985
Thanks for the updates.

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