UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said on a conference call announcing the purchase Monday that Strikeforce will implement all of the unified rules of mixed martial arts that the UFC uses, and that includes allowing elbows to the head on the ground. The banning of those elbows has been the one significant difference between Strikeforce fights and UFC fights, and that difference will go away.
"The one change we're going to do as a promoter of the show is the unified rules that you see in the UFC," Fertitta said.
For the UFC, the decision makes a lot of sense: The promotion has always lobbied for every state athletic commission to adopt consistent rules across the board for all fights, and it would be odd to see Zuffa promoting fights that didn't use those standard, unified rules.
Still, the rules change is going to make things different for a lot of fighters who aren't accustomed to having to defend against elbows on the ground.