The Nevada State Athletic Commission will convene Aug. 19 for a formal regulation hearing that could wind up having a substantial impact on the sport of MMA.
According to MMAJunkie, up for discussion during the session will be the use of instant replay to evaluate fight-ending fouls and the possibility of sanctioning five-round nontitle fights.
On the subject of replay, NSAC executive director Keith Kizer confirmed to MMAJunkie's John Morgan that the protocol would be to evaluate footage only at the conclusion of a fight, and only if there's debate over whether a technique that brought an end to the bout was a clean blow or a foul -- and in the case of the latter, whether it was intentional or not. (Good luck with that.)
Anything that reduces the murkiness of some finishes is welcome by me, though the two most prevalent fouls -- eye-poking and groin shots -- could probably be significantly reduced by stricter use and approval of equipment: more effective cups and possibly some kind of webbed glove that limits finger splaying. I'd rather officials treat the cause and not the effect.
Extending marquee nontitle fights by two rounds is a two-sided coin. Although we've seen dozens of bouts that begged for closure, assigning a longer clock to those subjectively deemed "important" by a commission or promoter really isn't fair to non-event contests. Why should, say, Rich Franklin be given five rounds to finish Dan Henderson when Michael Bisping only gets three?
This is a policy that would create a lot of asterisks.