Injury Fears Prompt UFC to Ban Punches, Kicks, Elbows, Knees, and Submissions
Las Vegas, NV – Do you want to be a fighter? Then you’ll have to leave the Octagon.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has prohibited all forms of striking and submissions, company president Dana White told reporters in a press conference today.
This means no punches, kicks, elbows, knees, joint locks, neck cranks, or chokes.
The move comes after a string of high-profile injuries, the most recent being Anderson Silva’s gruesome leg break in UFC 167.
“Look, we’re fight fans, but we’re a company first and foremost,” White said. “Having guys break their legs, break their arms, getting their face smashed in–that’s bad for business.”
“Not to mention our health insurance premiums,” White added.
Reaction from athletes and coaches has been mixed.
“I agree with the no punch, the no kick,” Brazilian fighter Demian Maia said. “I no agree with no submission though.”
The move has received full support, however, from groups such as the American Medical Association. AMA spokesperson Dr. Phil Hinson said that the UFC can expect to see a 99% reduction in injuries.
“I’d say there’s still a 1% chance of injury because a fighter might slip while dancing to his entrance music,” Hinson said.
White said he’s confident fans are savvy enough to appreciate the changes. Fighters will still circle one another, go for weak take downs, and try to improve position on the ground.
“There’s still going to be a lot of hard hitting action,” White said. “Metaphorically.”
Although White trusts his hardcore fans, he concedes that casual fans might find the fights boring. He’s considering adding some elements in to enhance entertainment value.
“I’m thinking of maybe going into the Octagon and putting in some kind of ring, with a net attached to it, and putting it eight, ten feet high,” White said. “And then, one fighter has to try to get to the ball in that ring, and the other fighter has to stop him–without really touching him, because that would be a foul.”
Upon hearing the news, officials at the New York State Athletic commission said that they still won’t sanction MMA because they’re “a bunch of pussies.”