Major MMA Rules Change On The Horizon: 12-6 Elbows & Kneeing A Grounded Opponent

Major MMA Rules Change On The Horizon: 12-6 Elbows & Kneeing A Grounded Opponent

Andy Foster, the Executive Director of the California State Athletic Commission, has taken it upon himself to change two critical aspects of the sport’s rulebook: the 12-6 elbows & kneeing a grounded opponent rules.

For quite a long time, the MMA community has been vocal about the confusing rule that deems a competitor “down” if they have just one hand on the ground, preventing opponents from delivering a knee to the head.

This rule has been a source of frustration, often disrupting the flow of matches and leading to widespread calls for a more uniform set of rules – akin to those used in RIZIN – across all promotions.

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Foster announced his intention to abolish this rule:

We’re gonna get rid of the hand.
That’s not a proposal, we’re gonna get rid of it.

If you wanna be down, you need to put something else down.
Knee, back, anything other than ─ you can’t be standing up putting your hand on the ground.

Additionally, Foster is targeting the controversial restriction on 12-6 elbows – a rule that famously contributed to Jon Jones’ only professional MMA defeat, back in 2009.
He stated:

I don’t even know if there’s anybody that disagrees with that [the 12-6 elbows rule should be abolished].

What about 11-5 if we’re gonna use the clock, or 1-7? Those aren’t illegal.
3-9’s an awful hard strike from Side Control, but that’s not banned.

It doesn’t make any sense I guess is the point I’m trying to make. Either you ban elbows or you allow it.
I mean, this is the only one that’s not and it’s poorly enforced.