MMA has come a long way since it was first conceived – MMA or Mixed Martial Arts has been around for virtually hundreds of years, however the first serious attempt at turning it into a competitive and profitable sport came 25 years ago, when in 1993 entrepreneur Art Davie teamed up with Brazilian JiuJitsu guru Rorion Gracie to form the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The UFC was to be a single night 8 man tournament that pitted several Martial Arts against each other to see which art was the best.
The early days of the UFC are often referred to as the wild west, whilst there were always rules, there were little rules, and due to poor marketing the general public viewed the UFC, and MMA in general, as a barbaric sport – However the sport was gaining ground in the late 1990’s , in Japan Pride FC was born, in the United States you had alternatives to the UFC such as King of the Cage – Each promotion had its own set of rules, which often confused the audiences. After the UFC was banned in several US states, due in part to Senator John McCaine referring to the sport as ‘Human Cock Fighting’ , it was time for the sport to change for the better.
In 2001 the ‘Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts’ was born, with this MMA finally had a unified rule set that promoters must adhere to and was officially sanctioned by many of the US states – However in the United Kingdom, even today, MMA is still not officially sanctioned – promoters are free to decide upon their own rules, regulations and judging policies – This poses a very dangerous issue, one where someone may get seriously hurt, and will result in MMA either being banned outright or heavily regularised beyond recognition.
This is why is it essential that YOU as a promoter take responsibility and hire knowledgeable and certified officials – This is necessary to ensure all fights are fair and most importantly conducted in the safest manner possible to both competitors, officials and spectators.
JLP founder, James Lehart is a fully trained mixed martial arts referee – James has been educated to the highest standard on all the latest judging and refereeing protocols for both amateur and professional bouts, as well as ensuring all judging is completed correctly, and the correct medical services are in place before the beginning of each event, and fight. James has been educated by Marc under the 2018 IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) rule set which is the standard rule set used by professional referees in the United Kingdom.
JLP can provide officiating services, working alongside judges and other referees James can act as the head referee to ensure your event runs smoothly and most importantly legitimately – This includes ensuring score cards are collected during the end of each round, time keepers are present with TWO clocks, all judges are independent of gyms and fighters, referees are independent and updated on the latest rules.
Please contact us to discuss officiating for your event.