Over the past few years MMA has exploded in popularity as a huge number of new fans have jumped onboard the hype train and started following perhaps the biggest combat sport in the world currently, and with every few weekends providing some high profile fights with some of the biggest markets like Rhode Island sports betting fuelling the growth it certainly shows no signs of slowing – but it also means when something does go wrong, there are more eyes than ever to witness it, and with the past two weekends having unfortunate stoppages to fights, is it time for change in the UFC?

The first big issue has been around for the lifespan of the UFC – the gloves. Many a fighter have been outspoken about the issues with eye poking and how the current gloves in circulation lead to it being a problem as they force fingers to be stretched out due to their shape, and other organisations have made changes to ensure the same problems aren’t prevalent, but so far, the UFC have been seemingly reluctant to make any big change despite being in talks previously to develop a new glove that would help with the issue. Due to the huge number of problems with eye poking still occurring, this certainly needs to be a big change in the sport, particularly with the increased popularity being seen.

Another is within a rule to downed opponents and something that became important in the title fight between Yan and Sterling on the 7th – with Sterling down on his knees, Yan through an illegal knee that found himself disqualified, but not all in the fighting game believe this should be the case. Former flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson weighed in on this problem, currently finding under the ONE championship where different rules allow for knees to grounded opponents, he weighed in that fighters are still able to fight whilst on their knees, and that in that instance knees to a grounded opponent should definitely be allowed. There have been many instances where a fight will simply drop to the knees in an effort to recover or stall for time, which makes it very difficult for some fighters to end because of the ruleset.

Whilst no changes are set to come for quite some time, there are certainly growing calls for some adjustments to start – with high profile fights becoming more common as athletes jump between weight divisions and the big money fights start to become a huge part of the organisation, something needs to happen, but will likely be a question of just where that change may come from.

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