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The Speed Bag: We could have a problem with this new 'downed fighter' rule

In the beginning, it seemed to make sense. But after UFC 210, do we need to reconsider?

Representatives from the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board recently cited this past weekend’s controversial clash between Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2 MMA, 9-3 UFC) and Chris Weidman (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) as a shining example of why the Association of Boxing Commissions’ 2016 decision to update the definition of a downed opponent was unnecessary.

“In short, the rule change caused a controversial ending to a very high profile bout,” New Jersey chief Larry Hazzard wrote in an email to the ABC. “This had not happened under hundreds of UFC main and co-main events over the past several years under the prior rule.”

The updated policy, which was passed under the best intentions, states that fighters are only considered down if both their palms or fists are touching he ground. While it makes sense in theory, is it simply complicating the referee’s job in practice.

MMAjunkie’s Ben Fowlkes explores that idea in the latest edition of The Speed Bag. Check it out in the video above.

For complete coverage of UFC 210, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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