The recent UFC Fight Pass Invitational jiu-jitsu event implemented a new submission-only ruleset aimed at preventing stalling. However, according to ADCC champion Gordon Ryan, the strict rules around stalling led to frequent controversial calls.
“The stalling calls were at times, in my opinion, a bit, a bit much,” Gordon stated. He explained that while the goal was to encourage action and discourage stalling until overtime, the implementation led to frustration.
“You could be killing someone. But if you got a negative and even if you passed, you know, four times, took the guys back and you have a negative, you’re still losing,” Gordon said.
So fighters felt they had to overly push the pace and take risks to avoid penalties. And questionable calls disrupted momentum.
Gordon expects the Fight Pass brass to make adjustments for future events. As he put it, “I’m sure that they’ll have some some feedback and some some changes for the next show to make it even more exciting.”
Tweaking these rules around stalling and penalties will be key for Fight Pass to put on grappling shows fans consider both fair and entertaining going forward. The stalling calls overshadowed what Gordon found to be an otherwise “really exciting card…from start to finish.”
ADCC organizer Mo Jassim wasn’t pleased either, commenting on reddit:
He followed up those posts saying:
Prior to the event an ADCC ref detailed the rationale for rule changes:
“First of all, for sure. So it’s definitely a hybrid between sub only and the ADCC ruleset where they’ll still have the regulation where there is no points. Positive points. The only way to to lose or to win in regulation is by submission, and a way to lose is by getting submitted. ”
“But we have instituted the warnings and negative so you can have negative points accrued through passivity, through incorrect guard pulling, like not an aggressive guard pull. And so you can go into the overtime with a deficit. Now, the overtime used to be FBI or time. Now we’re shifting that to a similar to ADCC rules. There’s a few different point to point changes in warfare for for the man for for the back rather than two and three.”
“But other than that, what we’re doing more than anything through regulation, through the overtime, is we are going to be pushing the action and using those warnings and negative points as things to influence the action so that you’re not falling behind if it does come to the point scoring. So to me, the most important part about the ADCC rules is not like how many points you get for this. It’s the initiation”