While engaging tirelessly in discussions about MMA judging and the Ten Point Must System on several interent forums, the notion that Nevada had some sort of "unwritten rule" forbidding 10-10 rounds continued to arise.

Since all things MMA in the state of Nevada fall under Keith Kizer's watch, , I connected with the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission for a quick Q&A on the subject.


DW:  Fans are under the impression that 10-10 rounds are discouraged in the state of Nevada.  Can you comment on that, and explain your view on using the 10-10 for MMA bouts in Nevada?

KK:  "10-10 rounds are allowed, but should be used only if a judge feels that the round is even."

DW:  So to put this rumor to rest, judges are in no way discouraged from offering scores other than 10-9?

KK:  "Correct."

DW:  And you're OK with the use of 10-8 and 10-10 rounds?

KK:    "Yes."

DW:  In any state, almost every round has historically been scored 10-9, however, many feel that using more 10-10 and 10-8 scores would better reflect the different levels of dominance we see in the cage.  Do you agree or disagree, and can you explain why?

KK:  "A round score should not influenced but what has happened 'historically.'  Once again I disagree with any insinuation that we should tell judges they have to give more 10-10 or 10-8 rounds.  Rather each round should be scored on its own merits, and nothing else."

DW:  Nevada has included detailed guidelines for referee stand-ups.  Can you tell me why you decided to include more specific verbiage?

KK:  "That was a change that occurred after MMA in Nevada had been approved for some time, so a detailed explanation was needed.   Nick Lembo and I (and the other committee members) tried to give explanations to other areas in our ABC MMA report."

The would like to thank Keith Kizer for taking the time for this interview.


Read the updated version of the ABC MMA report and the Unified Rules here

The following are excerpts from Nevada's "Stand-up Rule" and "Submissions" referenced above from the following link:

Stand-up Rule

If the fighters while engaged in combat during the match go to the ground the following is to be followed by the referee before bringing the combatants back to the standing position.

1. The referee shall give the combatants sufficient time to establish a dominant position on the ground.

2. Once the fighters have shown that they cannot establish a dominant position against their opponent either through effective striking or body positioning and control, the referee shall advise the fighters to improve their position if they wish to stay engaged on the ground.

3. Improvement of the position shall be determined by the fighter’s actions. The fighter in top position must either post up and begin leveling heavy strikes in a sustained and consistent fashion at his opponent, or move themselves to a more advantages position. A more advantages position would be considered, moving from your opponents guard into either half guard or side control. If this is accomplished by the fighter in the top position the fight will remain at its present position on the ground.

4. If the fighter in the bottom position wishes to keep the fight on the ground after being advised by the referee to improve their position, the fighter must, attempt to place their opponent in an disadvantages position. Examples would include, placing your opponent into a hold that could lead to their submission. Such as, Triangle, Arm Triangle, Omoplata (Shoulder Lock), Kimura, Arm Bar, Etc.

5. After being warned by the referee, if the fighters are unable to improve their position the referee shall stand the fighters and restart the fight from the standing position.


Mixed Martial Arts is unique due to the art of submission. Submissions can place a fighter in a dangerous position of receiving substantial damage to a joint or limb. Fighters need to understand that a fight will be stopped if it is known to the referee that a fighter has suffered serious damage to joint or limb from a submission hold.

1. The referee shall make it explicitly known to the fighters that severe injuries observed by the referee during the match due to a submission hold shall cause a stoppage to the match. The referee shall make it known to both fighters that they must take care to protect themselves from substantial and lasting injuries. If a fighter is placed into a submission hold that the fighter realizes is causing damage
to the attacked body part of the fighter, the fighter can tap allowing the referee to stop the match.

2. Any fighter who is placed into a submission hold may attempt in any legal fashion to free themselves from the hold. The referee will closely observe the hold and the defending fighter’s position and actions. If the referee observes that during the submission the defending fighter suffers a dislocation, or break to the attacked limb, the referee shall call a halt to the match and declare the opponent of the injured fighter the winner of the match



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