This writer wrote on the controversial finish to the Tim Sylvia/Andrei Arlovski fight at this past Friday's One FC 5 card. For those unfamiliar with the circumstances, Arlovski went in for soccer kicks (legal in One FC) after knocking Sylvia to the canvas late in the second round, but did not get referee Yuji Shimada's permission to throw the kicks. Because of this, Arlovski got a yellow card for a rule infraction and Sylvia wasn't able to continue, thus ending the bout in a no-contest.
By rule in One FC, the referee must declare “open attack,” in so many words the ref must give the attacking fighter permission to execute soccer kicks on a downed opponent.
Soccer kicks being legal, as well as the nearly complete adoption of Pride Fighting Championships' rules, was one of the things that had made One FC a curiosity among die-hard MMA fans or Pride fans. In the five One FC cards that have been held, soccer kicks have come into play and have created the finishes in several fights without issue, including one on Friday's card. But at One FC 5, an issue finally came to light as Arlovski was basically finishing Sylvia off, but because he didn't get permission, a win was snatched from his grasp.
One FC sent a tweet out yesterday, stating that they had made a change to the rule, as well as subtly noting that they had a rule that needed to be simplified and that's what they've done. The tweet read:
"Effective immediately, One FC has adopted full Pride rules for soccer kicks."
In Pride FC, soccer kicks were legal at all times with no referee permission necessary to execute them.
While this doesn't change what happened on Friday with Sylvia & Arlovski, it will make sure that such a finish doesn't transpire under the same circumstances in One FC going forward.
As for the “open attack” rule: it really makes little sense to have such a necessity for executing soccer kicks when you consider that the time (no matter how small) it may take for the fighter to get permission from the ref, the downed opponent may be able to get out of harm's way. It seems ticky-tacky, but in a situation where one fighter has an opportunity to finish an opponent with soccer kicks, a second or two could make a difference.
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