ByJustin Golightly, writer at
Design wizard. MMA mathematician. Formerly of Middle Easy, Justin Golightly has been featured on Bleacher Report, Uproxx and TMZ.
Justin Golightly

Starting the week after UFC 210 was like walking out of a movie and being bewildered by reality again. There were so many strange things that happened, but in a way it was classic MMA. We talked about it all weekend, you heard it all day around the water cool at the office, and now Demetrious Johnson weighed in on at least one of the controversies: Gegard Mousasi's legal/illegal knees to Chris Weidman's head.

"If you're going to play that game, you're just asking for trouble. I think when Chris Wediman said, 'I purposefully put my hands down so you wouldn't knee me,' you have to take a look back at this sport of mixed martial arts. If a man can put both his hands down on the ground and stop my actions — to progress, to finish them — you have to take a look at the rules. I think it's a stupid rule. I think Pride and DREAM had it correctly that you could knee people in the head if they're down like that. [...] You're playing with fire when you play that role." — Demetrious Johnson

According to vocal Pride rules advocate, Johnson claims got what was coming to him. Sure, the ref and the commission dropped the ball, but Weidman even admitted himself to playing patty cake with the canvas to avoid taking damage. When the knees were illegal, he was too injured to continue; when the knees were legal, he told the doctors that he was good. In reality, he couldn't remember the day or the month. defends his flyweight title this weekend at UFC on FOX, his opponent Wilson Reis better not try to play the game himself.

Official Statement About the Rule

"We were all advised that the “rush” to change this rule was based on contestants 'gaming the system' by placing their fingers up and down and that this rule change was the solution to this problem. It was also stated that the rule change would make the referee’s determinations easier.

Given the UFC 210 co-main event bout calls, the NJSACB now respectfully asks that the rule change be reconsidered at the upcoming annual convention.

While we reiterate the above previously stated health and safety concerns, we now add that Mousasi-Weidman proves that this change does not remedy the stated concern. Referees are still required to make difficult determinations as to whether a fighter is down and contestants can still place their hands up and down and up again. Mr. Mousasi himself stated the he believed Mr. Weidman was trying “to take advantage of the rules.” In short, the rule change caused a controversial ending to a very high profile bout. This had not happened under hundreds of UFC main and co-main events over the past several years under the prior rule." — Larry Hazzard of the New Jersey State Athletic Control via e-mail to the Association of Boxing Commissions


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