Calgary Combative Sports Comission Announces Changes to Amateur Rules
In advanced amateur bouts as of Jan. 1, 2017, fighters will be allowed striking to the head of a grounded opponent.
“All coaches and fighters know that striking on the ground is part of MMA,” said Riley Pequin, Hard Knocks fighter in the amateur middleweight division.“Anyone wanting to become pro is going to have to be exposed to ground and pound, and in my opinion, the sooner the better.” Pequin also believes the new rules will really work to his benefit. “I think the new rules will make me a little more explosive off my back, rather than staying in a position long enough for my opponent to land strikes.”
If two fighters are eligible to fight under the advanced rules, both fighters, prior to the bout, must agree to fight under advanced rules. An advanced amateur bout is where both fighters have already had experience in the cage, though an exact number of fights to be considered “advanced” has yet to be determined. Amateurs fighting for the first or second time will still be competing under the regular amateur rules.
“I am definitely all for the new rules,” said Jared Tordoff, Hard Knocks fighter in the amateur middleweight division. “I am a grappler, and having ground and pound just allows me to set up submissions easier by distracting my opponent with punches.” Tordoff believes most athletes and coaches will happily accept the rule change, and can’t see any negatives arising from it. “It’s a lot better to prepare fighters turning pro for ground and pound, they just need to switch up their training”
Vince Gentile, coach at Dynamic MMA, said although “it’s about time” this rule amendment was made, they still haven’t gone the full distance. “Kicks to the head should be in there as well,” said Gentile.“If you want to call it unified, you need to follow everyone else and allow kicks to the head.” Gentile said all the major stages for MMA are under the fully unified rules, where kicks to the head are also allowed.“They’ve only gone halfway, but at least it’s progression.”
Gentile has spoken to other coaches from around the world regarding the previous amateur rules, including Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh. “He was astounded when I told him the rules, and didn’t know how a fighter could progress.” Gentile said the new rule change won’t affect the way he trains his amateur fighters because he’s always been preparing them for the big stage. “I’ve been teaching the ground and pound here from the beginning, getting this rule passed is a big deal.”
With HK 52 being so close to the official rule change date, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission has allowed Hard Knocks to implement the rules in their advanced amateur bouts on the card.
Pequin and Tordoff will compete for the Hard Knocks amateur middleweight title at HK 52, a bout that will be contested under the new advanced amateur rules. Todd Vatcher vs. Colton Cronkite will also be contested under the new advanced amateur rules.
Check out the full fight card HERE
HK 52 will take place Friday, Dec. 9 at the Markin MacPhail Centre, with the action beginning at 6:30 p.m.