You can book 2017 convention rooms now!

What do you, as an ABC member, have that discount hotel sites don’t? An incredible $98 per night rate at the enormous Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino. Beginning on Friday, July 22, 2017 – through the banquet on Wednesday, July 26, you can book your room for $98.00 per night plus tax.

Follow the link and scroll down to the bottom listing for the special ABC rate…AND MARK YOUR CALENDAR – no rooms WILL BE GIVEN at that rate after Monday, July 10.

And another reason to book early: you can cancel if you need to by July 8, and if you book early, the Business Conference fee of $18 is waived! PLEASE BOOK NOW and join the fun President Mazzulli has planned right there in his own backyard.

Training for officials will be Saturday, July 22 & Sunday, July 23. Conference days will be Monday, July 24- Wednesday, July 26 which is slightly earlier than last year. The ABC will be treated to spacious rooms in the newly built tower, plus dozens of restaurants and shops within the casino. The Agenda draft will be posted shortly.



2016 Convention – MMA Press Coverage

At the 2016, the body of the ABC voted to approve changes to it’s unified rules list of fouls and to amend the judging and scoring criteria for professional mixed martial arts.

The changes to the Unified Rules of MMA and the Judging and Scoring Criteria for MMA received wide spread coverage in the MMA Media:

The Underground

New rules changes were proposed at the 2016 Association of Boxing Commissions convention by the ABC rules and regulations committee. The stellar group included fighters Randy Couture, Jeremy Horn, and Matt Hughes, MMA referees ‘Big’ John McCarthy, Robert Hinds and Kevin McDonald, and regulators Sean Wheelock, Matt Woodruff, and Brian Dunn, and Dr. David Watson. A number of members of the group have deep expertise in multiple areas. McDonald and Dunn for example are former fighters. Wheelock was at UFC 1, as was of course McCarthy.

The group proposed a refining of the definition of a downed fighter, means for referees to more ably stop eye pokes, a lifting of the prohibition of heel kicks to the kidneys, new judging criteria, and more.

read more / source: mixedmartialarts.com


The Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) approved the most sweeping changes to MMA’s Unified Rules at its annual conference last week in Las Vegas. The most significant alteration likely has to do with the sport’s much-maligned scoring system.

Getting the winner and loser of a fight correct is of the utmost importance to the integrity of mixed martial arts. The revised scoring language makes judging fights clearer than the original rules written in 2001.

Most importantly, it underscores that effective striking and grappling are the top tier of scoring rounds. Only if those two things are 100 percent equal does a judge move on to assessing effective aggression. And only if all of the above is equal does cage control get evaluated. These provisions were already in the original rules, but more clarity and emphasis on them has been added here.

read more / source: mmafighting.com

Mixed martial arts is constantly evolving as a sport and the rules have not necessarily done the same. Until this week.

On Tuesday, the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) general body approved a package of new rules recommended by the ABC’s MMA rules and regulations committee and medical committee. Those rules included clearer language for scoring criteria, a revised definition of a grounded fighter and a foul to address eye pokes.

read more / source: mmafighting.com

Bloody Elbow

Among the six changes to Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports’ (ABC’s) Unified Rules of MMA on Tuesday was a rewording of the criteria by which judges are to score rounds under the 10-Point Must system. Bloody Elbow obtained a copy of the new criteria, which will be logged in to the Unified Rules and become effective on Jan. 1, 2017, from veteran MMA official John McCarthy.

It begins with a mission statement: “To evolve Mixed Martial Arts Judging Criteria to focus on the result of action (versus action itself), it must be stated that criteria is to be used in specific order. These criteria may not move from one to the next without the prior criterion being 100% even in the judges’ assessments.”

read more / source: bloodyelbow.com

The 28th Annual ABC conference is well underway in Las Vegas and Tuesday was a big day for the sport of MMA. Representatives from 45 various athletic commissions gathered to vote on a package of six rule changes originally proposed by the ABC’s MMA Rules and Regulations Committee chaired by former Bellator MMA commentator and current commissioner of the Kansas State Athletic Commission, Sean Wheelock.

Prior to the vote, a sometimes spirited discussion and debate took place on the package of changes being proposed: new judging criteria, a new definition of a grounded fighter, the addition of extended finger fouls, the removal clavicle-grabbing and heel-to-kidney fouls, and a change to the regulations on female fighter apparel.

read more / source: bloodyelbow.com


Tribute to Muhammad Ali

Tolling of the Bell – For all the boxing fans who have attended a boxing match, and heard the bell toll ten times for a boxer who has passed, the forlorn sound is forever imprinted on one’s heart.  Muhammad Ali’s death has reminded us all of the simple solace that sad sound makes, but it is not enough.

THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME was truly a champ for his bravado and his bragging, his dangerous and damaging fists and his fancy footwork, and his courage through it all:  winning the Olympic medal, losing his medal, beating the best, becoming world champ and then stripped of that honor, losing to the best, beating the best, again, and grace under the pressure of Parkinson’s.

Unfortunately, stripping Muhammad Ali of his title came at the hand of Boxing Commissions in 1967, but that was before the creation of the Muhammad Ali Act and such an action would never happen again without a vote of the entire Association of Boxing Commissions in an open meeting.   The Association of Boxing Commissions feels honored to have our name forever tied to the name of the ‘The Champ’ through the Muhammad Ali Act (the federal professional boxing act that offers safety and anti-exploitation measures).

The tolling of the bell is not enough to comfort us for the loss of Ali.  So let us suffer now, and attempt to “live the rest of our lives as a champion.”


Why do so few people understand MMA’s judging criteria?

Following a controversial decision in the main event of UFC 195, MMAFighting.com’s Marc Raimondi took a deeper look at the misconceptions of judging criteria, speaking to a few prominent figures on the regulation side of the sport including John McCarthy and Andy Foster:

Whenever we get a disputed decision like this, we hear words like “volume” and “aggression” and “Octagon control” bandied about. Those are all secondary methods of scoring rounds, at best. Yet we still hear fans and fighters alike using those terms as well as phrases like “that takedown stole the round.”

John McCarthy, the godfather of MMA officials and a man who helped pen the unified rules of the sport, teaches in his seminars that judging rounds is done by the following criteria, in descending order: effective striking and effective grappling, ring or cage control, and then effective aggressiveness. Only if the striking and grappling are equal do you then even consider the latter two items.

What defines effective striking? There’s another misconception. Yes, it is damage. The “d” word is never written specifically in the unified rules, because at the time leaders were afraid state athletic commissions would shy away from the sport because of the raw terminology. Effective grappling is defined by significant submission attempts more than position. And if a fighter gets a takedown and does absolutely nothing with it, it’s not supposed to count for anything unless it’s a slam with notable amplitude.

“What is effective striking?” McCarthy said. “Well, effective striking is strikes that cause damage to the opponent in a way where they are limited in their ability to adjust to, limited in their ability to be offensive off of it and it is affecting their ability to fight effectively against their opponent. That’s what a damaging strike is or effective strike. To sit there and say a fighter is not trying to damage their opponent, it’s not being honest.”

All of these things seem fairly straightforward. So why do so few fighters know how judges are taught to score fights? You better believe everyone in the NFL knows a touchdown is six points and a field goal is three.

The fault, to me, lies mostly with the athletic commissions. They’re the ones regulating the proceedings and enforcing the rules. They’re the ones installing judges and referees. They should be way more proactive about informing fighters and coaches how scoring is done.

“I’m gonna try to do a better job of that in 2016, on how these things are scored in California,” California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster said. “Probably that’s a failure on our part to not get that out to the public.”

read entire article…