By Benjamin Bieker
After last weeks travesties during the fights due to eye pokes, a lot of people wanted to point toward the officials and the gloves as the reason for the injuries. Fans and fighters are calling for better refs, different gloves, or even different rules. The rules are one thing that Dana White likes to agree with on being changed, but it does not mean that the other options should not be explored.
To Dana White, he believes that a rule change could be made at the next meeting for the officiating body that governs the majority of athletic commissions. White thinks that there are actually a few rules that could be changed. As of right now, there is no rule on eye pokes. In some places they can give them time to recover, other places they can allow the doctor to check them out, but in New Jersey it seems they almost wave it off immediately. White wants to see a unified rule where fighters are given five minutes to recover just like low blows.
The other rule that White would like to see changed is about knees. No, White does not believe that there should be knees on the ground like Pride, but he believes that fighters should not be able to put their hand on the ground to avoid knees standing. The rule was not originally intended for that, and White would like to see it changed so fighters cannot avoid punishment. In going with rule changes it would be nice to see the 6-12 elbow added to ground and pound since it is no different than any other.
In terms of gloves, there really is nothing they can do. Gloves need to be able to allow grappling. If you had a glove that covered the fingers it would be extremely hard to grapple without having full mobility of your fingers. While it would not affect fighters who like to punch, it would affect people that love to finish fights on the ground. For refs, the problem does not rely on the refs, and more they should be focused on educating the judges and implementing a form of review for them as well. It is hard to make split decision calls on the fly for refs, but to misjudge a fight over three rounds is even worse. So, while there is still issues with the sport most of us love at least there is hopefully work being done on those issues.
What are your thoughts?