Pride Rules: Is There a Place for the Brutality of the Past in Today’s MMA Landscape? Corey Adams July 3, 2012 News On Oct. 11, 1997, a new worldwide mixed martial arts promotion was born that would soon be the most popular combat sports promotion in the world. Its name was Pride Fighting Championships. Pride went on a very successful ten-year run before closing its doors in 2007, but the promotion is still talked about to this day, with some of the best fighters currently in the UFC having fought in Japan. But there is a downside to Pride still being discussed today. The Japanese promotion didn’t follow the same rules as the UFC, and now other promotions shun the unified rules that the UFC adheres to and currently use Pride’s rules in events. If you’ve ever watched Pride events, you might agree that these rules should be banned throughout the entire sport of MMA. Listen to what fighters were allowed to do in Pride. All of the following tactics were legal: kicking or kneeing a downed opponent, stomping a downed opponent, and piledriving an opponent with a slam. Today, many regional promotions allow these types of strikes. But the controversy hasn’t been front and center until recently, when on June 23 at One Fighting Championship: Destiny of Warriors, a brutal soccer kick knockout occurred. Former UFC and Bellator competitor Roger Huerta squared off with Zorobabel Moreira at the event, with Huerta being on the wrong end of the brutal move. The devastating second-round knockout instantly put Huerta to sleep, and opened many eyes within the MMA fan community. With the fallout of this knockout, the question is should all MMA organizations worldwide follow the unified rules of the sport? The answer undoubtedly has to be yes. While the One FC promotion is based in Asia, like Pride was, Pride is over and the UFC has traveled overseas many times throughout the years to host great events. Other overseas organizations, and those stragglers in the United States who have yet to adopt the unified rules, should follow the UFC’s example in adopting these safer guidelines for combat. Of course, fans miss the days of Pride and want to see more soccer kicks and head stomps, but safety has to be the main priority of the sport. As the sport continues to grow more and more each day in countries all over the world, some people are on the fence about deciding whether or not the sport is good, and with the unified rules in place in all organizations, it would open doors for new fans of MMA. It’s yet to be seen if Pride rules will be removed for good, but given this latest display of brutality, it’s a good possibility in the next couple of years. In MMA, safety has to be the main priority, and all owners of smaller promotions should look into converting to the unified rules. Photo: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (standing) looks to stomp his opponent (Stephen Martinez/Sherdog) StealingFire Agree in full.