MMA Unified rules

Mixed Martial Arts Unified Rules and other important regulations 


Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport in which two competitors attempt to achieve dominance over one another by utilizing three general tactics: striking, finishing holds, and control. The rules allow the combatants to use different techniques including punches, kicks, joint-locks, chokes, takedowns and throws. Victory is normally gained through knock-out, submission (one fighter concedes victory to the other by tapping the mat or his opponent with his hand), or stoppage by the referee or the fight doctor.

The WFC Cage

Bouts take place in a CAGE. The floor is covered with a protective, shock absorbing mat 50mm in thickness, with a clean, tightly stretched canvas covering. The covering is securely attached outside the cage sides. The cage uprights are covered with a smooth padded material. The cage platform is solidly constructed, stable and level, and has no uneven areas. The size of the WFC cage is 8m inside a fighting area.

Weight Divisions

The official WFC weight classes are as follows:

Featherweight (-66kg)

Lightweight (-70kg)

Welterweight (-77kg)

Middleweight (-84kg)

Light Heavyweight (- 93kg)

Heavyweight (+93kg)


An official WFC weigh-in will take place 24 hours before the bouts begin, in the presence of the opponents and an authorized official. The official WFC weigh-in is the responsibility of the WFC. WFC uses calibrated weighing scales. Any calibration of the scales is made by an authorized official prior to the weigh-in commencing and is witnessed by an independent person.

At the official weigh-in, the scales are placed on a hard, level surface.

Contestants are allowed a maximum of 500g over their weight category limit for non-title bouts and 0g for title bouts.

Gloves- Hand Wraps

All contestants shall wear official WFC open finger gloves provided by the organizer. Contestants may use medical gauze and tape to wrap hands. No tape is to cover the knuckles. No excessive wrapping will be permitted. Wrapping should not be rigid in any way. An authorized official will inspect all hand wraps prior to contestants gloving up. No ‘canvas’ wraps will be used.

An official will check and sign all hand wraps prior to fighters putting on their gloves. The official will then tape and sign the gloves to ensure no tampering of the hand wraps can take place. Contestants may wear kneepads, elbow-pads, tape and ankle supporter with previous approval at the rules meeting and must be approved by official rules committee on the event day. Wrestling shoes are not allowed A mouthpiece and a foul cup usage is mandatory for all fighters.

No substance such as oil, Vaseline, massaging cream, hair products or anything of this sort shall be applied. A fighter with these substances shall be clean up before the fight. The vaseline will be applied by the »cut man« appointed by the organization, just before the fighter enters the ring.


A fight is five (5) minutes x three (3) round format, with no extra round. The interval between each round shall be one (1) minute.

The winner shall be determined by one of the following

·         TAP OUT

When giving up, submission and/or forfeiture is expressed either verbally or by tapping more than three times on the mat or the opponent's body.

·         KO (knock-out)

When the fighter is unconscious due to legal strike, hit, blow or choke applied by his opponent.

·         TKO (Technical Knockout)

When the fighter is unable to defend himself and his health is in danger.

·         Referee Stop

When a fighter is remarkably superior to the other and the referee judges the inferior is in danger if the fight continues.

·         Doctor Stop

When a fighter is injured by the opponent's legal attack and if a  ringside doctor determines that the injured fighter is incapable of continuing the fight, the injured fighter loses the fight. However, if the injury is caused by the illegal action of the opponent, the opponent loses the fight. 


The three (3) judges shall determine the winner based on the following elements:

  1. An effective and an accurate attack that leads to KO or the opponent's giving up.
  2. The extent of damage inflicted on the opponent.
  3. Techniques & Domination in the ground position.
  4. Take down & Defensive technique.
  5. The degree of aggressiveness.
  6. Standing up from guard & getting back to the standing position. 

The determination shall be in the above priority. The judges declare the superior fighter rather than awarding points. The winner must be determined after the third round is over; a "must system" is applied and there will be no draw decisions.

·         Disqualification

The referee shall pronounce a caution (showing him a yellow card) when a fighter executes a foul technique and/or fails to follow the referee's instruction during a fight. Three (3) cautions during a fight shall be grounds for disqualification. However, the referee may immediately disqualify a fighter (showing him a red card) if the referee finds that a foul technique was inflicted intentionally or with malicious intent.

·         No contest

When illegal action disqualifies both fighters or the judges and/or technical commission of WFC decide to cease the fight because of an accident.

The following actions are defined as illegal attacks.  A fighter who executes a foul technique shall be penalized with a caution (yellow card). A third caution (red card) during the fight shall disqualify the fighter.

  • Grabbing the cage
  • Holding opponent’s shorts or gloves
  • Head-butting
  • Biting or spitting at an opponent
  • Hair pulling
  • Fish Hooking
  • Intentionally placing a finger into any orifice, or into any cut or laceration of an opponent
  • Eye gouging of any kind
  • Groin attacks
  • Small joint manipulation
  • Strikes to the spine or back of the head
  • Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
  • Clawing, pinching, twisting the flesh
  • Swearing or offensive language in the ring 
  • Any unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to the opponent
  • Attacking an opponent during a break
  • Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee
  • Timidity (avoiding contact, a consistent dropping of mouthpiece, or faking an injury)
  • Interference from a mixed martial artist's cornermen
  • Flagrant disregard of the referee’s instructions
  • Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his or her head or neck
  • Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat
  • Soccer kicks and stomps

In the event that a fighter is damaged severely by the opponent's illegal action, the referee and the doctor shall decide if the fight can resume after the damaged fighter recovers to fight. However, if the referee and doctor judge the fighter is not capable of continuing the fight, the opponent who committed the illegal action shall be disqualified according to Article * TKO - Doctor Stop. In case the fight is stopped due to a fighter falling out of the ring or a fighter about to fall out of the ring, foul techniques, or for a doctor check, the fight shall be resumed in the center of the ring with both fighters standing.


  1. Kicks to the face, head and stomping are NOT permitted when the opponent is in a ground position. 
  2. Knees attacks to the head are NOT permitted when the fighters in a north/south position or three/four points position.
  3. Knees attacks to the face are NOT permitted when the fighter has three or four points in the ground.
  4. Knees attacks to the face are NOT permitted when the fighter is in side control.
  5. Elbows to the head are permitted

Appeals Procedure

An appeal against a decision must be brought to the attention of WFC no later than 24 hours after the original decision has been made. An official appeal must be presented in writing to the WFC within 48 hours.


A  qualified WFC referee officiates each bout. The referee will conduct a comprehensive Rules Meeting to ensure that all contestants fully understand the rules they are competing under and the penalties for breaking said rules. An interpreter will be used if necessary. Before each bout, the Chief Referee shall meet with the contestants and shall give them his instructions. An interpreter should be used to ensure all contestants fully understand this meeting. Before signaling the start of a bout, the referee will see that the physician, 3 judges and at least 1 timekeeper are present at ringside. The referee may interrupt a bout at any time.

The referee can interrupt the fight at any time when he feels there is not enough action. He must advise the fighters verbally prior to the interruption. When there is a lack of action in a bout, or it reaches a stalemate situation, the referee may interrupt the bout at any time to resume the fight with both competitors standing. Where the referee interrupts a bout and wants to indicate to a contestant that he must retire to a corner, the referee shall point his hand to instruct the contestant to retire to the farthest neutral corner. Where a contestant deliberately and unnecessarily removes his mouthpiece, the referee shall deduct 1 point; if the contestant again removes his mouthpiece during the same bout, the referee may disqualify him. Where a contestant accidentally loses his mouthpiece, the referee shall stop the bout immediately after the exchange of blows taking place, so as not to give a fighter any advantage and shall send the other contestant to a neutral corner. One of the persons authorized to be present in the corner of the contestant who has lost his mouthpiece shall clean the mouthpiece and give it back to the contestant.

The referee may stop the bout if he considers that 1 of the contestants is not doing his best to win or that both are not doing so. He may then disqualify either contestant or both contestants, in which case he shall make a report to the chief official explaining the reasons for his decision. The referee will remove any person present in a contestant's corner where he considers that the person is acting in an unsuitable manner or interfering with the bout, and may deduct 1 or more points from the contestant or disqualify him. Only the referee and the contestants shall be present in the ring during a round. The referee shall stop the bout where the physician advises him that a contestant is no longer fit to continue. The referee shall stop the bout immediately when a contestant is knocked out. Where a contestant receives a foul blow, the referee may interrupt the bout and may allow him up to 5 minutes to recover. If the contestant cannot continue after this time for medical reasons the following may occur: If the foul blow was caused accidentally, the bout will go to the judges' scorecards, unless the bout has not reached the end of at least one round in which case it will be made a no contest. If the blow was caused intentionally, the victim will be deemed the winner of the contest by way of disqualification. The referee shall indicate to the Timekeeper to pause the timer if there is an interruption of a round or rest period.


A contestant is not be allowed to compete within 28 days of their last fight. Unless cleared to do so by an authorised Doctor.

A contestant listed to fight and their corner men will attend, at the scheduled time, the pre-bout rules meeting called, and given by the Referee or Chief Official. Interpreters will be available for those whose first language is not English.

A contestant listed to compete unable to fight for medical reasons is to provide a medical certificate to that effect and will, at the chief officials request, undergo an examination by a physician designated by WFC.

Contestant's Equipment

Contestants should wear official WFC uniforms. No other clothing is allowed.

A contestant shall not use grease or another substance on his face, head, arms or other parts of his body. He may use a small amount of petroleum jelly around the areas most susceptible to cuts.

A contestant shall not wear any object made of a hard material of any kind.

A contestant shall not wear hard contact lenses during a bout.

A contestant shall not wear a Gi.

A contestant shall wear a protective groin guard and a fitted mouthpiece


Only licensed trainers and corner men are to be present in his contestant's corner during a bout. Contestants may have up to three (3) corner men who are not allowed to leave their own corner during the fight. Corner men are not allowed to have any physical contact with the fighters or the referees under any circumstances during the fight. The persons authorized to be in a corner shall remain seated at the foot of the ring and shall not intervene in any way whatsoever to assist a contestant during rounds.

Equipment Authorized in Corners

Bottled of water, bottle to be of made of a pliable material (not glass)


Ice bag

Water spray bottle

White towel

Metal plate to reduce swelling

An official must inspect and clear any other equipment.

Medical Cover

It is mandatory for all fighters to receive a doctor check before the fight at the venue.

Two WFC authorised physicians will be assigned, who may stop a bout at any time, or in the case of a tournament, at the end of each bout, to examine a contestant and determine whether he is medically fit to continue. Where the physician is of the opinion that the contestant is not fit to continue the bout, he will inform the referee, who shall stop the bout.

At least 2 State Registered Paramedics will be present and will supply all necessary emergency first aid and trauma equipment (enough for both fighters), as well as an emergency vehicle for casualty evacuation.

The local hospital will be notified of the event taking place at least 24 hours in advance.

Paramedic and Doctor be present at ring side during a bout.


Last updated on April, 2018 WFC ®