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Edmonton MMA Event Could Use Pride Rules

The Edmonton-based MMA promotion Colloseo Championship Fighting is planning an event that would use the Pride-style rules favored in Japan rather than the unified rules of North American MMA that have been widely accepted in North America, and that's setting up a showdown between Edmonton's athletic commission and the governing body for all boxing commissions across the continent.

The Edmonton Sun reports that the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission was served notice by the Association of Boxing Commissions that Edmonton risks being branded an outlaw city because it approved Japanese rules -- including allowing knees and kicks to the head of downed opponents -- for an upcoming Colloseo MMA show.

Association of Boxing Commissions President Tim Lueckenhoff told the Sun:
"There's been discussion that if Edmonton goes through with this, there will have to be a discussion about their associate member status ... and I'm sure there will be some adamant demands for it to be revoked. ...

"It's embarrassing for Edmonton to be branded a rogue commission, absolutely.

"To have a commission that radically modifies the rules to satisfy one promoter throws open the door to a whole new set of problems.

"The other door it opens is that if a fighter is seriously injured, or worse, under those new rules, it's going to be a very, very big problem for the Edmonton commission. I can't understand why they're doing it."
MMA Payout refers to this as a cash grab on the part of the promoter, and I don't doubt that. But I'm not so sure I agree with Lueckenhoff that one commission instituting its own rules is such a bad thing. For as long as MMA has existed, the rules in Japan and the rules in North America have converged. I don't have a huge problem with the Edmonton commission favoring the Japanese rules if that's the way they want to do things. I personally prefer the North American unified rules that the UFC has convinced most of the North American athletic commissions to adopt, but if Edmonton wants to adopt its own rules, that's their prerogative.