Rules of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting

Rules of Mixed Martial Arts Fighting

Mixed martial arts (MMA) rules differ slightly from one upgrade to the next because each fighting organization, such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), can create unique rules.
Each event must comply with the rules of the sports commission of the country in which the event is being held. Mixed martial arts rules regulate weight classes, the absence of any restrictions during a fight, and the approved methods for ending a fight.

Athletic commissions from several states created the Uniform Rules for Mixed Martial Arts, a set of rules adopted by fighting promotions around the world. These rules are the most commonly used rules for MMA.

Weight classes in MMA competitions

No matter where you fight, one of the basic rules of MMA is that you must fight within your weight class. For example, a lightweight 150-pound male would not be matched by a 240-pound heavyweight male. This type of pairing is only saved for animation.

If you do not have a match weight, you may be disqualified and possibly fined through promotion. The following tables are summaries of the specific weight classes defined in the MMA Standard Rules.
MMA weight classes for men’s weight class

Class                                                                            Weight Range

Fly weight                                                                   up to 105 lbs
Ultra Fly Weight                                                       105.1-115 lbs
Pants Weight                                                            115.1-125 lbs
Super Bantam Weight                                             125.1-135 lbs
Featherweight                                                          135.1 – 145 lbs
Lightweight                                                               145.1-155 lbs
Ultra-lightweight                                                     155.1-165 lbs
Middleweight                                                            165.1 – 175 lbs
ULTRA WEIGHT                                                    175.1-185 lbs
Middleweight                                                           185.1-195 lbs
Ultra Medium Weight                                            195.1-205 lbs
Light Heavyweight                                                  205.1-225 lbs
Heavyweight                                                            225.1-265 lbs
Super Heavy Weight                                              Over 265 lbs
MMA Weight Classes for Women
Class                                                                            Weight Range
Fly weight                                                                  up to 95 lbs
Bantam weight                                                         95.1-105 lbs
Featherweight                                                          105.1 – 115 lbs
Lightweight                                                               115.1-125 lbs
Middleweight                                                            125.1 – 135 lbs
Middleweight                                                            135.1 – 145 lbs
Light Heavyweight                                                   145.1-155 lbs
Cruiserweight                                                           155.1–165 lbs
Heavyweight                                                             165.1-185 lbs
Super Heavy Weight                                                Over 185 lbs
MMA no-nos in combat
Although every MMA fighting organization has its own rules, some global violations do exist. It’s listed in the MMA Standard Rules, but here’s a quick look at what’s not allowed:

No groin attacks.

No knees to the head on a grounded opponent.
No strikes to the back of the head or the spine.
No head butts. (Sorry, soccer fans.)
No eye gouging.
No fish hooking.
No fingers in an opponent’s orifices. (Eww!)
No biting.
No hair pulling. (Besides, that’s so second grade.)
No strikes or grabbing of the throat.
No manipulation of the fingers or toes.
No intentional grabbing of the ring or cage.
No intentional throwing of your opponent outside of the ring or cage. (That stuff belongs in professional wrestling.)
Accidentally performing one of these actions in a fight earns you an automatic warning from the referee. If your opponent was injured from your accidental action, they’ll get five minutes to recover.
Approved ways to end an MMA fight
An MMA competition can end in one of several ways:
Decision. If a fight lasts all rounds, the outcome is decided by three judges. Each fighting promotion has its own unique point system.
Disqualification (DQ). Think of this as a sort of “three strikes and you’re out” policy. Each time a fighter engages in an illegal move, they receive a warning. After three warnings, they’re disqualified. A DQ can also be called if a fighter has been injured by an illegal move that seemed intentional.
Forfeit. A fighter can announce a forfeit before a match begins if they’re injured.
Knockout (KO). A knockout is when a fighter loses consciousness thanks to their opponent’s strikes.
No contest. If both fighters violate the rules, or if a fighter is injured by an unintentional illegal action, a no-contest call can result. No contest is rarely called in MMA fights.
Submission. If one fighter achieves a submission hold, the fighter trapped in the hold can call defeat by tapping out on his opponent’s body or the mat, or by making a verbal announcement. Some defeated fighters fail to tap out and become incapacitated. In such cases, the referee calls an end to the fight.
Technical knockout (TKO). A technical knockout, when a fight is ended by the referee, doctor, or fighter’s corner, can be called in a few ways. The referee can call one when a fighter is no longer defending themself, usually due to an effective attack by their opponent.
A doctor can also call a TKO if it’s clear that continuing the fight could be dangerous. And finally, a fighter’s corner can throw in a towel to admit defeat, resulting in a TKO.