How about implementing a "new" (as far as I know) rule in MMA matches that a fighter can not be saved by the bell/horn if caught in a submission. I'm not talking about just a controlling position such as mount or having someone on your back, but deep in a triangle or kimura keylock where a sub seems very likely.

In my experience, I've seen many matches that would've ended in a submission if the bell didn't end the round, so i proposed to ICON today that they take a look at intergrating this rule into their fights. The ref could yell at both fighters if in the last 10 seconds of a round, "SUB ON!" or something like that, notifying the fighters, corners, judges, and fans that the bell will not end the round unless there is a tap out, the "sub-er" (as opposed to "sub-ee") gives up the hold, or the "sub-ee" legitimately escapes (rather than hanging on for the bell).

I'm sure this has probably been discussed here before, but I haven't seen anything lately and would like some honest opinions on this.



clay, i see what you're saying, but i think it's a little different. this is just one portion of the game that is unique. subs normally require a lot of technique and safety isn't comprimised w/ this rule. as far as the damage against the ropes/knockdown thing, i'm all for the bell not saving a fighter if he can't make a 10 count. submissions and striking are not the same and should not be regulated w/ identical rules no?

nogidavid, i know where you're going w/ that, but ko's are not as predictable as subs. totally different aspects of the game. it may appear unfair to a striker, but i really believe that most rules currently favor them and it's about time we throw the grapplers a bone.

awesome replies btw...

one of the local sports anchors here said the same thing, and i think pat from icon agrees w/ you too. thing is, from a fighter's perspective, i think that people use the "saved by the bell" aspect as a legitimate defense mechanism and i think it blows. it kinda reminds me of the "judo turtle" and how if you can hold that position for a few seconds, they will stop the ground fight and restart standing. just crappy imo. the extreme boxing thread kinda started me thinking on this...

clay, i think the mount "pummeling" thing is more subjective and harder to call for a ref. i mean, there are some obviously legit "poundings" from the mount, but isn't it much easier to determine whether a sub is in or not. i think it is. but your point is valid, just harder to incorporate no?

I'm all for the idea!


damn yankee,
thk you for your input. i know this is a sport, and am not trying to turn mma into a "streetfight" as i'm all for safety, but how does this rule make it less of a sport? the sub game is different than boxing and isn't nec. an accumulation damage game, but a setup and finish thing, so stopping subs and restarting when it could be finished is hurting the sport i say. i think the rules should allow each style to showcase most of their strengths as long as safety is not compromised. as far as riding out a sub for the bell is not contributing to a sport aspect imo as it takes a higher skill level to escape or not get caught no?

clay, again your point is valid as i also like the 10min first rd.

re: "without other fighters looking to get the same treatment (as they should)"

i don't think this is a matter of one-for-one as the rules already favor the striker, but more a leveling of the playing field.

yes, there is a true excitement value to "saved by the bell" (not the jacktripper version either) that would be diminished if this rule were implemented, but this is about mma and i would rather use strategic marketting/education to win the fans over on this rather than just giving them what they want and allow them to ruin what truly makes mma great!

clay, nope, it's still 3X5min rounds.

thx man. it's been a little barren of technical ideas lately...

I say NO to anything that makes a ref or a judge think.

If the organization doesn't allow knees, kicks and stomps to the head on a downed fighter, I think you can count grapplers and strikers even on the rules front.

not the same imo. tying up when rocked on the feet is a legit defense and can lead to a takedown for either fighters. holding on for the bell shows a lack of skill be the "sub-ee" and should force him to reevaluate his game and work on his ground game.

it seems in this day, grapplers are forced to learn striking if they want to compete successfully in mma, but not nec. the other way around for strikers. in fact, a lot of them just work on takedown defenses, and "holding on for the bell" stalling techniques. this is bad for the sport imo.

good point adam, but i think there are safety issues associated w/ that, plus, grapplers are also restricted by those same rules. don't assume that grapplers will always be in guard.

So how long do they get to try to finish? An extra 30 seconds? 1 minute? Forever?

What if they get knocked out by the guy getting subbed? Or countersubbed? What if there are two heel hooks on - who gets the extension?

Rounds are rounds, IMO. There is either a tap or there isn't - that is what is so clean with a submission. Start mucking it up with special time rules, etc. and you really take away from that.

It would be interesting, but could also be used to deliberately fatigue an opponent even if you know you will never get the sub because it is just "off" a little, your opponent is too big around, etc.

Also really confuses decisions if there is an extra minute or two of a round due to a submission fight.

"I think most BJJ guys don't work enough on their wrestling/violence game on the ground and thus make that kind of complaint about strikers who learn the sprawl."

i agree. but i'm not talking bjj specific w/ this.

"So how long do they get to try to finish? An extra 30 seconds? 1 minute? Forever?"

unlimited time restriction as long as sub is on--until tap, escape or sub-er lets go.

"but could also be used to deliberately fatigue an opponent even if you know you will never get the sub because it is just "off" a little, your opponent is too big around, etc."

here's where more discussion and expertise is needed. i don't think a "SUB ON" should be called unless it's in "deep" ie, tait vs josh on tuf for lack of a better example.

"Also really confuses decisions if there is an extra minute or two of a round due to a submission fight."

definitely another area that needs to be revamped. 10pt must scoring sucks imo.

off the top of my head, here's a few examples of fights that would've ended w/ a sub if this rule were in place in hawaii mma:

andy wang vs deshaun johnson
vitale vs miller
cabbage vs eilers

why do you "have to allow it for strikes."? if a fighter is well rounded, both parties should benefit from this no?

i'm all for two guys blasting away at each other, but i'm not talking about that. i'm just addressing one specific part of the game.

why is it that everyone tries to think so PC about things?