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PRIDE HAS ISSUED A PRESS RELEASE CONFIRMING THAT IT will follow the Nevada Athletic Commission’s rules when it puts on its show in Las Vegas (which, of course, it must do if it wants to run a show in the state):

Dream Stage Entertainment today confirms that PRIDE Fighting Championships has officially been granted a license by the Nevada Athletic Commission. The first event is yet to be scheduled and will abide by all Nevada Athletic Commission guidelines.

How will this change Pride’s rules (which can be found here). Lets examine the Nevada Administrative Code and find out:

Pride will be allowed to use a ring

Pride will be required to use Nevada’s weight classes. Thus, Pride will not be able match fighters who have large weight differences, which would normally invoke its “Special Rules.” Of course, the idea of “Special Rules” (no knee or kick to the face when the fighter is in the “four points” position) is irrelevant since the “Special Rules” are already part of Nevada’s normal rules (see below).

The greatest difference between Pride and Nevada rules is in what they each consider to be a foul. Most significantly, Pride allows kicks and knees to the head when a fighter is on the ground and stomping when a fighter is on the ground; Nevada does not. In order to give you a complete understanding of the differences, I have copied both organizations’ definition of fouls.

Pride considers the following to be fouls (scroll down to article 8):

The following actions are deemed to be illegal. A fighter who commits these illegal actions hall be given a caution by the referee and such illegal action shall be a negative factor for decision. Third caution during the fight shall disqualify the fighter. The fighter shall be fined 10% of the fighting fee per caution payable to DSE.

1. Biting

2 Eye thumbing and eye gouging

3. Head butting

4. Attacking the groin

5. Pulling Hair

6. Pushing the windpipe with the thumb or finger (s) or squeezing the windpipe

7. Attacking the back of the head, the spine and/or the medulla (The back of the head is the centerline of the head and the area around the ears are not considered to be the back of the head.)

8. Using the elbows to attack the head or the face

[8(b)]. Grabbing the ropes and refuse to release the ropes and/or hanging the limbs of the body (hand(s), arm(s), leg(s) or feet) over the rope intentionally. A fighter who places his upper arm over the rope shall be given a caution immediately.

9. Escaping to the outside of the ring

10. Throwing the opponent outside the ring

11. Stalling or failure to initiate any offensive or defensive attack. Making no attempt to finish or damage the opponent.

Nevada’s list of fouls is much longer. I have put the fouls not specifically found in the Pride rules in bold type:

Acts constituting fouls. (NRS 467.030) The following acts constitute fouls in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts:

1. Butting with the head.

2. Eye gouging of any kind.

3. Biting.

4. Hair pulling.

5. Fishhooking.

6. Groin attacks of any kind.

7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.

8. Small joint manipulation.

9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.

10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.

11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.

12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.

13. Grabbing the clavicle.

14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.

15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.

16. Stomping a grounded opponent.

17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.

18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.

19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.

20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.

21. Spitting at an opponent.

22. Engaging in any unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.

23. Holding the ropes or the fence.

24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.

25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.

26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.

27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat.

28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.

29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.

30. Interference by the corner.

31. Throwing in the towel during competition.

Obviously, some of the fouls not specifically listed by Pride would still constitute fouls under Pride’s rules. There is no way that Pride would allow a fighter to attack an opponent during the break, continue fighting after the bell, etc. But, as far as I can tell, other fouls like fishhooking and small joint manipulations are not normally banned by Pride – even if we do not usually see them.

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