Will Controversial “Downward Pointing Elbow Strikes” Be Legal at UFC 161?

ufc 161 image UFC 161 is in the hands of the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission making the event subject to Manitoba’s Boxing Regulation.

As it presently reads, this regulation does not blindly adopt the Unified Rules but instead has its own list of fouls.  While there is nothing controversial about this, one well-established foul that is not adopted by Manitoba is the 12-6 “downward pointing elbow strike” ban.  (Scroll down to regulation 91.20 for Manitoba’s full list of fouls)

UFC fans will remember the ban of these elbow strikes are responsible for the only blemish on Jon Jones’ MMA record.   So the question is, will this technique be allowed at UFC 161?

I reached out to Manitoba’s Sport Secretariat Joel Fingard for clarity.  The answer is no.  Despite the Regulations on the books, I’m told that the MCSC has internally adopted the Unified Rules and these will be in play for UFC 161.  Why isn’t this rule change reflected officially on the Regulations?  It is intended to be and I am advised that a formal amendment to the Manitoba Boxing Regulation is in the works.  Now that Bill S-209 is on the books and Provinces have clarity Manitoba is ready to overhaul their MMA laws without the need to fit the sport into the ‘boxing’ category.  Joel provides the following sensible explanation:

“We have adopted the ABC Unified rules as a whole however when re removed banned elbow strikes we had not replaced it with the downward elbows foul. We were waiting for S-209 to pass so we could rewrite the Regs to reflect the sports that are now recognized and no longer describe mma as a form of boxing. We anticipate this to be completed this summer.

I appreciate you taking the time to point the absence of this foul from the list out to us.”

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