In the best making lemonade from lemons tradition, Team Greg Jackson has suggested some very good possible rules changes to address the possibility of fighters greasing themselves before or during fights. From MMA Weekly:
The statement suggests continuing the current pre-fight “touch test” to detect both the presence of water and petroleum based lubricants that could have been applied to the fighter’s body hours before the bout.
In addition to that rule, they believe a pre-fight rubdown, excluding the face and gloves of the fighter, with a towel containing alcohol or another commission approved solvent to guarantee any lubricants applied before the fight are removed.
The team also mentions the possibility of rubbing the fighters down between rounds with a dry towel to remove any Vaseline applied that may have “migrated” to the fighter’s body during the bout.
These are very solid suggestions. I think that implementing these and allowing Aoki pants will be entirely sufficient to keep the submissions game a full 1/3 of MMA and prevent the sports’ degeneration into bad kickboxing.
Those who are opposed to allowing Aoki pants have argued that allowing equipment in the cage is a slippery slope. My counter is this — we already have equipment — four ounce gloves — that makes it significantly harder to apply a rear naked choke. That and the rules against striking the back of the head have made taking the back much less than the utterly dominating position it is in a real fight. Add the rule against knees on the ground and wrestlers are getting more and more advantages by the minute.
What’s wrong with submissions? Is there someone out there who doesn’t enjoy seeing them? Aoki pants won’t hurt the game, they’ll improve it for the fans and fighters both.
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