CCF Boss Weighs in on Unified vs DREAM Rule Debate


Pasqualino Santoro has stirred up quite the debate in North American MMA when he got his February 27th show sanctioned to use DREAM rules by Pat Reid of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission.  

Many fans and fighters are loving the new rules which include knees to the head of a fallen opponent, the ability to wear a gi or wrestling shoes, and scoring the fight on a whole rather than a 10 point must system.  Critics, however, feel that proper process was not used to sanction the new rules and believe that a serious injury on this card could seriously threaten MMA in Canada. 

Top MMA News has been on top of this story from the announcement by the CCF of the new rules right up to last week’s post on the Association of Boxing Commission’s urging Edmonton to abandon DREAM rules.   Top MMA News feels its only fair to give Pasqualino Santoro his chance to comment on the debate.

Here are Mr. Santoro’s thoughts on the matter:

Top MMA News – How did the DREAM rules get sanctioned in Edmonton?

Pasqualino Santoro – The Edmonton Combative Sports Commission followed the steps they deemed suitable to implement the rule set.


Top MMA News – Why are you so passionate about DREAM rules?

Pasqualino Santoro – I am not passionate about DREAM rules per say more so the opportunity for our athletes to gain experience in a format of combat used world wide.


Top MMA News – Why do you want DREAM rules used for CCF?  What is wrong with the Unified Rules?

Pasqualino Santoro – Everyone has a different view as to what is good and bad with the Unified & DREAM rules.  I doubt everyone will ever be pleased but I can say both have produced some great fights and have been proven effectively safe for the athletes.


Top MMA News – Has your personal desire to use the DREAM rules been worth the hassle you have been getting?

Pasqualino Santoro- I am keeping my head in the game and getting the necessary tasks done before the event – not responding to the “so-called” online uproar created by a few people with too much time on their hands. Let’s keep the fear mongering to a minimum, guys. These rules have been in place safely for quite some time world wide. I am not a revolutionary making some radical changes as my detractors like to paint me, but instead a man with an event making use of his right to implement rules used world wide.


Top MMA News – 26 out of 27 CCF fights in past shows have not gone to decision. Will using DREAM rules impact the fights that much?

Pasqualino Santoro-I am not really in a position to predict what the outcome of fights will be since I can not see into the future. However, with the high level of skill many of the athletes have coming to to CCF, if I were to guess I would probably say “yes there is a chance we will see a greater number of decisions in the future.”


Top MMA News  – Do you feel fighters are at a greater risk under DREAM rules than Unified rules?

Pasqualino Santoro – NO, I don’t. Safety is my number one concern! Were these rules a danger to the athletes, I would not have made the shift towards them. PRIDE, Art of War, DREAM, Sengoku and even Superbrawl in Hawaii have in the past used rules very similar to what the CCF will have in place for many years with a great track record of safety.


Top MMA News – Do you expect any fighter to come out in a GI or wrestling shoes?

Pasqualino Santoro – Again I can not say what another man would do.


Top MMA News – How will judges and refs and other officials like time keepers be prepared to officiate under a separate set of rules?

Pasqualino Santoro – The judges and officials/ time keepers are not idiots. They are professionals in combat sports so a few modifications will not leave them on another planet task wise. I have full confidence in their abilities


Top MMA News – I have heard rumors that the two fighters in each fight can choose if they want Unified rules or DREAM rules? Is this true?

Pasqualino Santoro – that is not true


Top MMA News – Will CCF 6 be going back to Unified Rules?

Pasqualino Santoro – Let’s see how this one turns out, but I highly doubt it


Top MMA News  – What are fighters telling you about the rule changes? Who is supporting you?

The people have spoken. Look online at the response that Keith Kizer’s post on the forum tells the story.  The post pretty much said that the Edmonton show should fall in line with the ABC stance on the use of the international rules and looked to cast our changes in a negative light.  Much to their surprise, the people “ie real people – not local promoters and so called MMA media” support the DREAM rule change by far more than 90 percent for a variety of reasons.


Top MMA News – In your opinion, what do you think of the ABC? If Edmonton want to be a member of the ABC, should they follow the ABC’s rules? Should Edmonton leave the commission if they want to have different rules?

Pasqualino Santoro – My opinion on the ABC really does little to better the position and operation of my event and the opportunity it creates for our athletes travelling overseas so I have not put much thought to that.


Top MMA News – Enough of rules, who are the fighters that fans should look out for?

Pasqualino Santoro – We are going on a major signing spree and not always exclusive contracts either.  Not everyone is looking towards the UFC so CCF will naturally be a top stop for fighters looking to be reviewed fighting in DREAM’s rules before potentially being signed to fight there. As always, we are open to local talent but we also will contine to bring in the best we can.


Top MMA News – Which fight is Mr. Santoro most excited for?

Pasqualino Santoro – I will be most excited to host a good show and put my detractors’ worries to rest.


Top MMA News – Is Claude Patrick going to be on your show?

Pasqualino Santoro – Claude patrick ( is what I would have to call unsigned hype. I have spoken with him about potentially competing in our show but he is scheduled for an event in early February so very unlikely he will be on this card.  That being said, it is exactly a guy like that who puts on a show in and out of the ring  that we are looking to highlight in our shows.


Top MMA News – How did your promotion get involved with Wanderlei Silva?

Pasqualino Santoro – I can not tell you guys all my secrets. Let’s just say Mr Santoro is just getting started.  hahhaha That’s just the tip of the iceberg.


Top MMA News – Where can people get tickets?

Pasqualino Santoro – They can get them at TNT Tickets 780-426-SOLD or 1-88-TICKET-99.


Top MMA News – How is the new venue construction going? Can you let us know where the venue is?

Pasqualino Santoro – We are going at a steady pace.  It will be done in time


Top MMA News would like to thank Pasqualino for his time and wish him the best at his upcoming event on February 27.

Related Posts

CCF 5 Lineup

Edmonton Commission Confirms DREAM Rules

ABC President Urges Edmonton to Follow Unified Rules

19 Responses to “ CCF Boss Weighs in on Unified vs DREAM Rule Debate ”

  1. wested says:

    well done lino and the ccf staff we are pumped for the event

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Aaron Benson says:

    not again, one more and done

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. CR says:

    What a polititian. The guy avoided all the questions and answered nothing. He won’t even say who’s fighting! I wonder how many guys are backing out because of the rule changes? It sounds like this guy is flying by the seat of his pants putting this event together.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. wested says:

    wow this poor guy cant wint.. i was actually impressed with him keeping a cool head if i were him id be pissed .. who are all these hypocrites talking down the event when they have never said a word bad about dream or pride ?? clearly lino isnt most well liked guy in some circles but its amazing to see peoples true colours when the chips are down.. But i do agree a fight card would be good me and the boys will be there to check out the event but its nice to know whos fighting.. a website would be nice

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. colloseo says:

    Article 1. Fighters are required to have a physician’s checkup at the venue on the day of a show before the bout.

    Article 2. The ring to be used for the bout is a square ring with sides of 7 meters each, certified by the promoter.

    Article 3. Fighters are required to wear open-fingered gloves which will be provided by the promoter for the bout.

    Article 4. Rounds: The first round is 10 (ten) minutes and the second round is 5 (five) minutes in duration. There are no extra rounds. There is a 90 (ninety) second rest period between the first and the second rounds.

    Article 5. Fighters may use knee pads, shin guards, elbow pads, taping, ankle supports and gi at their own discretion. However, an attire check by the referee is mandatory before the bout. A mouthpiece and a groin protector must be worn by every fighter. A fighter may wrap bandages several times around his own fists. The use of tape to hold the bandages in place is allowed. However, it is prohibited to use tape for hardening the fists. If a bandage is to be applied, it must be applied in the bandage check room as early as possible before the bout. Applied bandages must be inspected. Article 6. Fighters are allowed to only use bandages or tape provided by the promoter.

    Article 7. Fighters cannot use any lotion or ointment (i.e., Vaseline, oil, pain relief ointment, all types of cream, hair dressing, slip stopper on their feet, etc.) before and during the bout. If the application of such a lotion or ointment is found, the bout may be considered a loss by default. When wearing shoes, those shoes need to be inspected by referees and judges before the bout. The fighter will be allowed to wear shoes only when the referee acknowledges that no harm will be caused by the shoes. Shoe inspection must be conducted during the rules meeting. Shoes with the attributes and items indicated below are prohibited from being worn during bouts:

    ・ Shoes applied with any cover from the ankle over the instep of the foot covering the straps.

    ・ Shoes with any metal parts or zippers attached to any part of the shoes.

    In addition, attire, gi and supporters and the like to be worn during the bout must be inspected and any attire as described below is prohibited from being worn during the bout:
    ・ Attire with any metal parts used in any part of the attire.

    2 ・ Attire without a belt or string attached at the waist that prevents displacement of the gear.
    ・ Attire with pockets or similar functions attached to the outside of the costume.
    ・ Attire with anything sewn or adhered to the outside of the costume. (*However, this rule will not apply if any article sewn or attached clearly poses no harm and is recognized by the referees that it will not affect the bout. Attire with direct print applied with paint or ink is allowed.)
    Referees may prohibit wearing any attire if they judge that the fighter’s attire would definitely interfere with the bout despite clearing the above items. Article 8. The result of the bout shall be determined by the outcome of one of the following:
    ● Ippon, KO Demonstration of a give up or loss of the will to fight will be given either verbally or by tapping on the mat or on an opponent’s body three or more times.
    ● Technical knockout ・Referee stop When the referee judges that a fighter is in a completely advantageous position and his opponent is regarded to be in danger.

    ・Physician stop When the ringside physician determines a fighter injured by his opponent’s valid attack and judges that the injured fighter can no longer carry on in the bout, the injured fighter will be recognized to have lost the bout. However, if a fighter is injured by his opponent’s illegal attack, the fighter violating the rules will be deemed to have lost the bout. Upon carrying out a physician’s checkup by the ringside physician, the sub-referee will guide the chief corner man to a neutral corner and will communicate the physician’s diagnosis and instructions. If the diagnosis results in a physician’s stop, the details of the diagnosis for determining the physician’s stop will be explained to the chief corner man by the sub-referee.

    ・Forfeiture This is the case when a corner man throws a towel into the ring. If the referee does not take note of this fact, judges are entitled to indicate the end of the bout.
    ● No Contest A bout is determined to be “no contest” if one of the following occurs: (i) when both fighters have committed a foul, or (ii) when the judges and/or the promoter determine that a fighter(s) is hurt and cannot continue the bout because of an accident or injury, or (iii) when one fighter and/or both fighters become incapable of continuing the bout because of an injury during the first round. If any injuries disable a fighter/fighters during the second round, the outcome of the bout is decided based on the content of the bout up to the injury. ●


    If a foul with malicious intent is made, or intentional fouls are repeated, the fighter may be
    3 immediately disqualified (being booked with a red card) at the referee’s discretion.
    ● Decision ・A decision will be made by the 3 (three) judges based on the following criteria:
    1. Attitude aiming for a KO or ippon
    2. Hits incurred by the opponent
    3. Combination of striking techniques and ground control
    4. Takedowns and defense
    5. Aggressiveness Judges do not keep score to decide any bouts. Instead, the judges decide the outcome of a bout in accordance with the above order of priority and by determining which one of the two fighters was in an advantageous position. Judges must decide on the winner after the second round (There is no draw decision.)
    article 9. The following conduct is deemed a foul. The fighter who commits one of these fouls will be given a “Caution 1” from the referee. A caution will be considered a negative factor and points will be deducted for the decision. The fighter will also need to pay a penalty, 10% of the fight money per caution, to the promoter for every caution the fighter receives. If a foul with malicious intent is made, or intentional fouls are repeated, the fighter may be immediately disqualified (being booked with a red card) at the referee’s discretion.
    1. Head butting
    2. Direct attack to eyes, nose, inside the mouth, or other mucosal areas (fish hooking)
    3. Groin attacks of any kind
    4. Biting
    5. Throat strikes, grabbing the trachea, or any other kind of direct attack to the throat area
    6. Striking the back of the head or the spine. (Note that the “back of the head” refers to the posterior aspect of the head; both sides of the head and the area around the ears are not considered the “back of the head.”)
    7. Hair pulling
    8. Elbow strikes to the head or face
    9. Intentionally holding the ropes or a corner post, or hooking limbs including hands, feet or costume, such as a gi, over the rope. Hooking an upper arm on the rope will result in an immediate caution.
    10. Intentionally escaping from the ring. Intentionally throwing the opponent out of the ring.
    11. Cruel acts during and outside the bout.
    12. When a fighter is on his “four point position” on the mat, a standing opponent must not

    4 kick the opponent’s face or head with his calf/shin/ankle/foot (kneeing is not included). However, kicking to the opponent’s head or face is allowed when both fighters are on the ground. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, regardless of the weight division, the above-mentioned attack is strictly prohibited when fighters with15 kg or more weight difference are in the ground position (“Ground position” is the state where at least one of the body portions, except the sole of the foot, is in contact with the mat).
    13. Ineffective attacks that would not affect the opponent or inducing a stalled situation.
    14. Any behavior or comment made by fighters or corner men which is disrespectful of the officials or referees who have absolute authority during the show (before, after and during the bouts).
    Article 10.
    All fighters and their chief corner men must attend the rules meeting. The fighters must undergo the official weigh-in 24 hours before their bout. If the weight requirement is not met at the official weigh-in, a penalty of 10% of the fight money must be paid to the promoter.
    Article 11. When the fighter who receives a foul attack is seriously injured, the bout will resume after the full recovery of the fighter based on the decision of the referee and the ringside physicians. The fighter who made the foul will be disqualified in accordance with Article 8, only if the ringside physician(s) determine that the injured fighter is unable to continue the fight.
    Article 12. The referee will may call out one of the following commands during the bout. “Action,” “Improve your position” ・This command will be made when an action violating Article 9(13) is taken. “Work to finish” ・This command will be made when a fighter is in a dominant position but has no intention to finish the bout. When the above command is made, the action is considered to be a foul violating Article 9(13) and a yellow card, “caution 1,” may be issued. Article 13. If the fighter(s) move outside the ring, the fighter(s) need to immediately move back inside the ring and resume the bout from the standing position at the center of the ring.

    Article 14. ”Stop, don’t move” command will be made if a fighter is about to fall out of the ring or if the referee determines that a rope or a corner post is hindering the bout. When this command is made, the fighters must immediately stop any action, follow the referee’s instructions and move away from ropes and a corner post. The fighters need to go back to the same body position as the one immediately before
    the command was made, and resume the bout when a clear signal to restart the bout is made by the referee.

    Article 15. The referee may command a break in one of the following situations: ・When both fighters are in standing positions with no valid offensive attack or defensive attack being taken and a deadlock continues. ・When one fighter is in a ground position (on one’s back facing up) and the other fighter is in a standing position with no valid offensive attack or defensive attack taken and a deadlock continues. ・When a foul action violating Article 9(13), is made.

    Article 16. Fighters and corner men must unquestionably submit to the judgments and instructions of the referee. If a fighter or a chief corner man files an objection to the referee’s judgment, it must be done in written form within two (2) weeks after the bout. In addition, no third persons, apart from the fighters or the corner man, are allowed to object to the referee’s or judge’s decision. If this article is not complied with, a penalty of 10% of the fight money must be paid to the promoter.

    Article 17. The number of corner men accompanying a fighter is restricted to three (3) or less. The corner men are not allowed to leave their corner during the bout or have any physical contact with the fighter during the bout under any circumstances. If this article is breached, a penalty of 10% of the fight money must be paid to the promoter. End of document

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. colloseo says:

    ok there the rules ask yourself are they really that bad?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. jaykay says:

    Who’s reffing?

    Who’s training the refs?

    Who’s providing the refs?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. boss says:


    how deep will the haters dig to stop this show? the refs? lol well why not the same refs doing mam in e-town now? everything starts somewhere and i dont think there is anyone in the world that ccf could bring in to ref the fights you and people like you would fine suitable but thats all good i hope the fight cards good and he keeps doing them so i can enjoy my fights and the haters can keep hating

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Youknowwho? says:

    The worry is not the safety, the ref’s are carded and all officials are just that.. Officials. I would be concerned about Mr. Santoro, he is a crook and a thief.

    I find it hard to believe this promotion still exists when the man robbed all the people he hired to manufacture the ring and host the first event. Hope this is your last event

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Sir Lord Iffy Boatrace says:

    Article 5 – Pads and guards or anything that protects a fighter while giving a blow gives them an added advantage, let alone increases the ability to cause serious cuts, especialy near the eyes.

    Article 7 – shoes of any type are a serious hazzard to the eyes of an opponent in relation to cuts, abrasions, and blunt trauma to the areas around the eye and the eye itself. Shoes also protect the fighter delivering blows while increasing the damage done by those blows.

    Also to note: complete absence of judging criteria

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. jaykay says:

    @ BOSS – Way to not answer the question. I have yet to be at a card in Edmonton where a ref doesn’t cost one of the fighters the fight through some error on their part. I have been to too many cards where the refs have been late on a stop and the fighter take more punishment than they should. Maybe instead of calling me a ‘hater’ you could take the time to answer the questions. If you don’t know the answer then perhaps you should stay out of the discussion.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. boss says:

    . jaykay what you miss is not answers to questions but the reality of your situation which is the fact you are dont matter to the situation what you think doesnt matter.. why dont you and people like you do something positive instead of trying to tear down someones work? seriously you know there is nothing ccf can do that would please YOU so why not apply a noble concept and keep you negativity to yourself??

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. colloseo says:


    Non-title and tournament bouts will consist of two rounds and a total fight time of 15 minutes. The first round will 10 minutes with the second being five minutes in length.
    Championship bouts will feature one 10 minute round and two five minute rounds.

    Much like PRIDE, fights are judged on their entirity by three judges.
    Each judge declares who they think won the bout, thus eliminating any chance of a draw.

    DREAM for the most part shares the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (as practiced in North American promotions e.g. UFC) however it has some notable differences such as:

    Stomps and soccer kicks are permitted to the head of their opponent if both fighters are on the ground. Otherwise, both moves are permitted to anywhere but the head.
    Elbows to the head are prohibited.
    Knees to the head of a grounded opponent are allowed if there is not a 15 kg weight difference between the fighters.
    If any rules are broken the referee will hand out a yellow card to the offending fighter(s). This will constitute a 10% deduction from their fight purse. Three yellow cards will result in the fighter’s disqualfication.
    Yellow cards can also be handed out for stalling or lack of action.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. jaykay says:

    Boss – I have never once said I don’t like these rules, fact is I think the longer first round and knees on the ground will help increase the level of action while no elbows will reduce fights stopped due to cuts. For some reason you have taken the limited view that I am against something when there is no evidence to demonstrate that.

    My concern is reffing. Since I see from above that there is rules and direction for the refs my only concern is that the refs will be adequately trained in this and have a chance to practice prior to the event. While you seem to demonstrate a cavalier attitude towards this point and would rather just toss out blanket statements allowing for you to dismiss my comments I’m going to have to assume you just “don’t read all that good”.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Sean Quinn says:

    You guys are so cute.
    I like the rules. I dont like the way they were implemented and the lack of evidence that the ref’s will receive any training in these new criteria.
    The ref’s should have mandatory training certification upgrades even on the unified rules. To implement a new rule set without ample instruction in how best to carry out these new rules could become a problem.
    Marc-Andre = teh sux

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. jaykay says:

    Hi Tink!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Sean Quinn says:

    Hi Cuddlebuddy.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. JayKay says:

    Who are these refs and judges?

    Where are they from?

    What shows have they done?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. bill says:

    Lino is a shit disturbing bitch who can’t even hold a job at winroc. lol what a guy.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Some HTML is OK