Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Rules:

*WCKO Uses Original WKU and GCO Rules*

1. Weight Classes
2. World Level Competitions
3. The Attendance of a Physician
4. Fighting Area
5. Round Number and Length
6. Attire
7. Rules of Conduct Inside and Outside the Ring
8. The Competitor
9. The Competitor’s Equipment
10. Seconds
11. Amateur Division Scoring Rules
12. Legal Techniques
13. Illegal Techniques
14. Warnings and Minus Points
15. Protests and Alteration of Decisions

1. Weight Classes

Weight classes for men adults division are as follows:
– 60 kg, – 65 kg, -70 kg, -75 kg, -80 kg, -85 kg, -90 kg, +90 kg

2. World Level Competitions

Note: in all world level competitions wherever rankings are available heats must be seeded.
Each competitor’s name, country and MAP-number must be listed. A minimum of three competitors in each weight class is obligatory. Fewer than three competitors in one division will move the competitors in that division up to the next weight category. In that case each country must receive a minimum of one copy of all drawing lists and the name list of competitors for free. The representative should receive this at least a few hours before the start of the tournament. There is no way to protest after the drawing.

3. The Attendance of A Physician

Every match must have a licensed physician in attendance at ringside. Any and all directions and/or orders from the attending physician must be immediately obeyed. A first-aid team is compulsory as well.

The official physician, who must attend every match, is the final authority in questions of the safety of the competitors, and he or she may at any time stop or terminate a match at his or her discretion.

The attending physician must follow the rules and regulations of the appropriate national health board as well as those approved by the authorities where such rules apply.

No match may start or proceed before the attending physician is in place, and the physician may not leave his or her place prior to the decision in the last match.

The attending physician shall be ready to assist if a serious emergency arises, and to administer first aid in the event of less serious injuries.

The physician has the right to interrupt or stop a contest by ringing the bell or calling “stop“ to the referee, if he or she thinks a competitor is in danger and the referee has not stopped the fight. He or she is also responsible for making the decision when a referee calls him or her in case of an injury to a competitor.

No one, even a competitor’s second, may attempt to aid a competitor during a round before the attending physician has had the opportunity to see the injured competitor. If the doctor enters the ring, he or she must examine the presumed injury and then decide whether or not the fight should continue. The doctor’s examination must take place inside the ring and must have duration of not more than one minute. Any kind of treatment of the competitor is forbidden. Should one minute be insufficient, the referee shall stop the match and declare the injured competitor’s opponent the winner. Doctors’ decisions are final, although they can be protested if a second doctor is present at the event. The second doctor will make the decision about the protest.

4. Fighting Area

MMA contests may take place in either a cage or a ring that has been approved by the GCO. The cage or ring should meet the requirements set forth by the GCO and should be inspected prior to each event by GCO supervisor or head referee.

A ring stool of a type approved by the GCO shall be available for each contestant.

An appropriate number of stools or chairs, of a type approved by the GCO, shall be available for each contestant’s seconds. Such stools or chairs shall be located near each contestant’s corner.

All stools and chairs used must be thoroughly cleaned or replaced after the conclusion of each bout.

5. Round Number and Length

Matches shall consist of three (3) three (3) minute rounds with a one (1) minute rest period between rounds.

6. Attire

Each contestant shall wear mixed martial arts shorts, biking shorts, or kickboxing shorts. At the GCO’s discretion, competitors wearing loose-fitting shorts may be required to wear spandex or bike shorts underneath fight shorts.

Gis or shirts are prohibited during competition.

Female competitors must wear a sports or athletic bra and may wear a form-fitting rashguard.
Shoes are prohibited during competition.

7. Rules of Conduct Inside and Outside the Ring

It is the duty of every competitor to show fair play in the ring. Should a competitor not be ready to continue the match because his or her safety equipment is not working properly or for other reasons, he or she shall retreat one step and raise one arm.

A competitor shall immediately retreat to the nearest neutral corner if so directed by the referee and wait for the referee to signal that the match can proceed again.

When a competitor receives a warning or a reprimand from the referee, he or she must put his or her gloves up in guard position and bow toward the referee to indicate that he or she has understood the reason for the warning or reprimand.

At the conclusion of the fight the competitors shall approach the referee, standing in the center of the ring, and there, with one competitor on each side of the referee, await the speaker’s announcement of the decision. The referee shall then raise the arm of the winner.

After the fight the competitors shall salute each other and each other’s seconds, after which both competitors shall bow to the referee in recognition of his or her efforts.

Violation of GCO rules and regulations, or infringements of the unwritten laws of good sportsmanship and fair play may lead to a warning or disqualification for a shorter or longer duration of time, depending on the seriousness of the violation or infringement.

8. The Competitor

The competitors must be in good physical shape and have a good sportsmanlike attitude.

The competitors must be well groomed and presentable. The nails of hands and feet must be cut short. The hair must be short or freshly washed. Male Competitors with hair of a length that could pose a problem during the fight (i.e. shoulder length or more) must follow the rules concerning long hair (see below). All competitors shall be clean and proper. It is the sole prerogative of the GCO referee to decide whether facial hair (moustaches, sideburns, beards or a combination of these) or the length of the hair poses a safety hazard to the competitors or an obstacle to the unhindered observation of the match. The referee can insist that such facial hair be removed, or in the case of long hair, be contained by a net. Long hair must be tied back with soft closures only so as to present no hindrance to the match or the observation thereof.

Excessive use of grease or similar substances is prohibited.

Competitors are prohibited from wearing any type of jewelry or piercing accessories during competition.

9. The Competitor’s Equipment

Individually fitted tooth-protector (mouth guard) required for all competitors.

Bandaging of each competitor’s hands shall not exceed one roll of surgeon’s adhesive tape, not over 1-1/2 inches wide, placed directly on the hand to protect the part of the hand near the wrist. The tape may cover the hand but not extend within ¾ inch of the knuckles when the hand is clenched to make a fist. Softsurgical bandage, not over two inches wide, held in place by not more than six feet of surgeon’s adhesive tape for each hand shall be used. Up to one 10-yard roll of bandage may be used to complete the wrappings for each hand. Strips of tape may be used between the fingers to hold down the bandages, not to cover the knuckles Cloth hand-bandages, maximum length of 3.5 meters, may be used.

An individually fitted breast-protector for females is compulsory.

An individually fitted groin-protector for both males and females is compulsory.

The gloves shall be new for all main events and in good condition or they must be replaced.

All contestants shall wear gloves weighing no fewer than six ounces, supplied by the promoter and approved by the GCO. No contestant shall supply his or her own gloves for participation.

Competitors may be required to wear shin and instep protection if required by a State Athletic Commission in the jurisdiction of the bout.

The following substances are approved for treating competitors’ cuts between rounds: Adrenaline 1:1000, Avitene, and Thrombin.

Petroleum jelly may be used lightly around a competitor’s eyes and on a competitor’s face. Petroleum jelly, lotion, or any other type of lubricant on any other part of a competitor’s body is prohibited.

A second may administer only water to a competitor between rounds in a bout. Any other beverage is prohibited.

10. Seconds

The coach must wear a track suit and sport shoes, which must be clean. A coach will be given two minutes to acquire a tracksuit if he or she is not properly attired for his/her competitor’s bout.

The second may give up on behalf of his or her competitor if he or she deems it irresponsible to let the fight continue. This is indicated by the second throwing a white towel into the ring.

Prior to every tournament the Head Referee shall call a meeting with all judges, referees and seconds to clarify any questions about rules, regulations and the general proceedings of the tournament. No rules can be changed during this meeting.

Seconds shall support and advise their competitors during the intermission between rounds. Each competitor may have two seconds, only one of whom may enter the ring under conditions set in this rulebook.

During the rounds neither of the seconds may enter the ring or in any other manner hinder or disturb the proper proceeding of the fight. Seconds shall comply with any and all directions given by the referee. Prior to each round the seconds must remove buckets, stools, towels and the like from the ring, and if necessary wipe the floor clean of spilt water. The seconds shall have at their disposal a towel, a sponge, water and grease for the competitor.

During the rounds the seconds may give advice (only in a proper manner), help, or encourage the competitor. Should a second violate this rule the referee can issue a warning, expel the second, or disqualify the competitor. A second who has been expelled may not function as second in the remaining part of the tournament.

A match starts when the referee gives the command “fight” to begin the first round, and it finishes when the referee stops the fight in the last round. Only the competitors and the referee may be present in the ring during the match except intermission between rounds when one of the seconds is allowed to enter the ring.
If any other person enters the ring, the referee can decide that the fight is immediately over and cannot continue again.

11. Amateur Division Scoring Rules and Bout Results

All bouts will be evaluated and scored by three judges.
The 10-Point Must System will be the standard system of scoring a bout. Under the 10-Point Must Scoring
System, 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round and nine points or fewer must be awarded to the loser, except for a rare even round, which is scored (10-10).

Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.

Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear in (03) above, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.
Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal heavy strikes landed by a contestant.
Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of legal takedowns andreversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.

Fighting area control is judged by determining which contestant is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking, taking down an opponent to force a ground fight, creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.

Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike.

Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks.

The following objective scoring criteria shall be utilized by the judges when scoring a round.

(1) A 10 points to 10 points round is strongly discouraged, and judges should look through the judging criteria for more effective techniques, more effective pressing of the action, and more style-specific technique. An even round should only occur in the case of a loss of points by a contestant.
(2) A round is to be scored as a 10-9 Round when a contestant wins by a close margin, landing the greaternumber of effective legal strikes, grappling and other maneuvers.
(3) A round is to be scored as a 10-8 Round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.
(4) A round is to be scored as a 10-7 Round when a contestant totally dominates by striking or grappling in a round.

Judges shall use a sliding scale and recognize the length of time the fighters are either standing or on the ground, as follows:
(1) If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round on the canvas, then:
i. Effective grappling is weighed first; and
ii. Effective striking is then weighed
(2) If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round standing, then:
i. Effective striking is weighed first; and
ii. Effective grappling is then weighed
(3) If a round ends with a relatively even amount of standing and canvas fighting, striking and grappling are weighed equally.

The following are the types of bout results:
(1) Submission by:
i. Tap Out: When a contestant physically uses his or her hand to indicate that he or she no longer wishes to continue.
ii. Verbal tap out: When a contestant verbally announces to the referee that he or she does not wish to continue.
(2) Technical knockout by:
i. Referee stops bout.
ii. Ringside physician stops bout.
iii. When an injury as a result of a legal maneuver is severe enough to terminate a bout.
(3) Knockout by failure to rise from the canvas.
(4) Decision via score cards:
i. Unanimous: When all three judges score the bout for the same contestant.
ii. Split Decision: When two judges score the bout for one contestant and one judge scores for the opponent.
iii. Majority Decision: When two judges score the bout for the same contestant and one judge scores a draw.
(5) Draws:
i. Unanimous: When all three judges score the bout a draw.
ii. Split: When all three judges score differently and the score total results in a draw.
(6) Disqualification: When an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul is severe enough to terminate the contest.
(7) Forfeit: When a contestant fails to begin competition or prematurely ends the contest for reasons other than injury or by indicating a tap out.
(8) Technical Draw: When an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul causes the injured contestant to be unable to continue and the injured contestant is even or behind on the score cards at the time of stoppage.
(9) Technical Decision: When the bout is prematurely stopped due to injury and a contestant is leading on the score cards.
(10). No Contest: When a contest is prematurely stopped due to accidental injury and a sufficient number of rounds have not been completed to render a decision via the score cards.

The following shall apply to injuries sustained during competition:
(1) If an injury sustained during competition as a result of a legal maneuver is severe enough to terminate a bout, the injured contestant loses by technical knockout.
(2) If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul is severe enough to terminate a bout, the contestant causing the injury loses by disqualification.
(3) If an injury is sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul and the bout is allowed to continue, the referee shall notify the scorekeeper to automatically deduct two points from the contestant who committed the foul.
(4) If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul causes the injured contestant to be unable to continue at a subsequent point in the contest, the injured contestant shall win by technical decision, if he or she is ahead on the score cards. If the injured contestant is even or behind on the score cards at the time of stoppage, the outcome of the bout shall be declared a technical draw.
(5) If a contestant injures himself or herself while attempting to foul his or her opponent, the referee shall not take any action in his or her favor, and the injury shall be treated in the same manner as an injury produced by a fair blow.
(6) If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an accidental foul is severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately, the bout shall result in a no contest if stopped before one round has been completed in a two round bout .
(7) If an injury sustained during competition as a result of an accidental foul is severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately, the bout shall result in a technical decision awarded to the contestant who is ahead on the score cards at the time the bout is stopped only when the bout is stopped after one round of a two round bout has been completed.
(8) There will be no scoring of an incomplete round. However, if the referee penalizes either contestant, then the appropriate points shall be deducted when the scorekeeper calculates the final score.

12. Legal Techniques

All forms of boxing in combination with kicks above the waist to the body and the head
Rear (reverse) kicks to the body or the head, as well as spinning back kicks to the body and to the head
Foot sweeps
Low kicks to the thighs, inside and outside
Knee attacks to the body and the thighs, as well as kicks with the shin to the thighs, body and the head
Clinching (holding) and attacking at the same time with knees and elbows to the body or any other legal strikes
Elbow strikes to the body below the neck
Frontal rolling kicks with the heel
Holding an opponent’s leg while attacking with legal strikes or attempting a takedown
The use of spinning back fists only with focus on the opponent
All throws, sweeps, and takedowns, provided that they do not aim to land an opponent on his or her head or neck
All submission holds, including but not limited to chokes, armbars, keylocks, kneebars, heelhooks, neck cranks. Small joint manipulation is not permitted.

13. Illegal Techniques

The following are fouls and will result in penalties if committed:
Butting with the head
Eye gouging of any kind
Biting or spitting at an opponent
Hair pulling
Fish hooking
Groin attacks of any kind
Intentionally placing a finger in any of an opponent’s orifices
Elbow strikes to the head, standing or grounded
Small joint manipulation
Strikes to the spine or back of the head
Heel kicks to the kidney
Throat strikes of any kind
Clawing, pinching, twisting the flesh or grabbing the clavicle
Kicking the head of a grounded fighter
Kneeing the head of an opponent, standing or grounded
Stomping of a grounded fighter
The use of abusive language in fighting area
Any unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to opponent
Attacking an opponent on or during the break
Attacking an opponent who is under the referee’s care at the time
Timidity (avoiding contact, consistent dropping of mouthpiece, or faking an injury)
Interference from a mixed martial artists seconds
Throwing an opponent out of the fighting area
Flagrant disregard of the referee’s instructions
Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his or her head or neck

14. Warnings and Minus Points

The referee shall issue a single warning for the following infractions. After the initial warning, if the prohibited conduct persists, a penalty will be issued. The penalty may result in a deduction of points or disqualification.
Holding or grabbing the fence.
Holding opponent’s shorts or gloves.
The presence of more than one second on the fighting area perimeter.
Disqualification occurs after any combination of three of the fouls listed in (01) above or after a referee determines that a foul was intentional and flagrant.
Penalty will result in a point being deducted by the official scorekeeper from the offending mixed martial artist’s score.
Only a referee can assess a foul. If the referee does not call the foul, judges shall not make that assessment on their own and cannot factor such into their scoring calculations.
A fouled fighter has up to five minutes to recuperate.
If a foul is committed, the referee shall:
(1) Call time.
(2) Check the fouled mixed martial artist’s condition and safety.
(3) Assess the warning or penalty to the offending contestant, deduct points, and notify each corner’s seconds, judges and the official scorekeeper.
If a bottom contestant commits a foul, unless the top contestant is injured, the fight shall continue, so as not to jeopardize the top contestant’s superior positioning at the time.
(1) The referee shall verbally notify the bottom contestant of the foul.
(2) When the round is over, the referee shall assess the warning or penalty and notify both corners’ seconds, the judges and the official scorekeeper.
(3) The referee may terminate a bout based on the severity of a foul. For such a flagrant foul, a contestant shall lose by disqualification.

15. Protests and Alterations of Decision

Only a coach may make an official protest.
The scoring of the referee and judges is final.
Protests against the decisions of a referee or judge can only be accepted in the event that the competition rules have not been correctly applied.

A judge’s decision, given at the conclusion of any match shall be binding and may be altered only in the event that the Head Referee and GCO supervisor deem that one of the following circumstances has occurred:
(1) A conspiracy has taken place or an illegal agreement has been entered into that affects the result of the match.
(2) The addition of the scorecards is faulty or one judge has mixed up the corners, resulting in the victory being given to the wrong competitor.
(3) A clear violation of the rules and regulations of the GCO, directly affecting the outcome of the match, has been perpetrated.

Protests shall be directed to the Head Referee and shall state the reason in a proper manner for the complaint along with any supporting evidence that a wrong decision has been made (video will not be accepted). The protest must be accompanied by a processing fee of 100 EUR. The fee will be returned if the protest is found to be valid. The protest fee will be transferred to the account of the GCO HQ for the promotion and training of future referees, etc.

The Head Referee will decide on the protest after hearing evidence from the protesting side and the referees concerned. Video will not be accepted. The Head Referee’s decision is final.

Decisions of the official doctor can be subject to protest if a second doctor is present at the event. The second doctor will make the decision about the protest.