Unlike most pro sports leagues, the UFC doesn't make its own rules, instead abiding by the Unified Rules that have been adopted by the state athletic commissions. But if the UFC did make its own rules, UFC President Dana White says, he'd like to legalize knees to the head of a downed opponent.
Asked by an Australian fan during a pre-UFC 110 question-and-answer session about allowing knees on the ground, White said he would like to see it -- but first he wants to see widespread acceptance of the rules as they stand now.
"Knees to the head? I get asked that a lot," White said. "Right now we're in this phase where we go out to all thees different states, and what we're trying to do right now is basically -- the game of soccer we play in the United States is the same game they play all over the world -- that's what we're trying to do with MMA, to make this a sport. Eventually, when the whole world isn't afraid of this sport anymore, then we can add knees to the head. I like them and I agree with you, but it's going to take a long time."
I think White has it basically right: There are rules that could stand to be changed, and permitting knees to the head on the ground might be a good one (though I'm less sold on allowing stomps and soccer kicks). But it would be wise to get every state on board with the rules we have before making any big changes.
Watch the full UFC 110 Fight Club Q&A at UFC.com.