It should be noted that the ABC meeting with regard to the unified rules are merely suggestions to the membership.
The ABC should clarify its bylaws and its formal name since MMA is such a growing sport that it intends to address.
Each jurisdiction must go back and individually adopt the changes and amendments.
The document, with regard to professional mixed martial arts, has some items which would alter the longstanding unified rules developed in New Jersey.
Unless each jurisdiction adopts them, we will no longer have unified rules.
Unified rules, in my opinion, are crucial to the growth of MMA.
When New Jersey first drafted and later passed the unified rules, several months of meetings were held and observations were made at events.
These meetings included discussions with medical staff, promoters, matchmakers, managers, fighters, fight officials, media and fans.
We also got the approval of other jurisdictions in advance in order to ensure a unified document.
I fully support the clarifications and explanations of the existing unified rules in the new document.
I do also support the rule deletions and smothering addition.
However, I have decided that I do not support the weight class changes.
With regard to weight classes, Nevada, California and Florida were not represented at the meeting.
Further, very minimal discussion was held on the topic. I did not hear medical evidence to support the rule changes as Mr. Garcia and I had requested. I did not see any thoughts or comments from promoters or fighters.
I also know that Ohio has concerns with regard to changing the weight classes.
Major MMA jurisdctions like Nevada, California, Ohio, Florida, Quebec and New Jersey need to have an involved role when contemplating serious MMA rule changes.
Unless everyone is on board, the ridiculous result would be having different weight classes in different jurisdictions for the same fighters in the same sport.
Changing weight classes is a substantial change that needs further discussion and exploration, in my opinion.
There needs to be more discussion and involvement of more parties prior to contemplating such a drastic rule change.
I am not convinced that weight classes are a crucial problem within the sport and I am not yet sure that the addition of so many more weight classes is warranted.
I am concerned about unhealthy weight cutting but I do not think that simply adding more classes solves that.
Any drastic changes to the unified rules need to be carefully contemplated.
If I was going to explore an area to possibly overhaul in the current rule set, it would be the scoring system. That, in my mind, warrants attention.
The weight classes will not be proposed for change in New Jersey at this time.