Full Colorado Approved “One Championship Global Ruleset”

Last week I reported that Colorado became the first US State Athletic Commission to approve the ruleset used by One Championship in Mixed Martial Arts which includes the use of knees to the head of grounded opponents.

I made a further open records request to the State to obtain a copy of the full ruleset approved. One Championship, a Singapore based promotion, has the luxury of self regulating events overssess. In Colorado they will need a promoters licence and be subject to State regulation. Regulators will oversee events with their own officials but applying the approved ruleset which is called the “One Championship Global Ruleset“.

Today Colorado replied to my open records request. Below are the full rules approved in the State –


ONE Championship™ uses The Global Rule Set, which blends a combination of best practices from Asian
and Non-Asian Rules.
• ONE Locker Room Inspectors and assistants will monitor the athletes and their teams to make
sure nothing inappropriate occurs and to prevent any breaches of the rules by an athlete or
his/her team.
• A Locker Room inspector and a team of Locker Room Assistants will be allocated to each pre-bout
locker room (red and blue corner). They will monitor the athletes at all times while in the locker
room prior to the bout.
The Head Cutman will assign an official ONE Cutman to wrap the athlete’s hands, or, witness and sign off
the wrapping of the athlete’s hands. Cutmen will also be cageside to assist athletes during a bout with
swelling and cuts.
The Cutmen appointed by ONE may apply hand wraps. If the athlete chooses to use their own person to
wrap the athlete’s hands, the entire process must be witnessed, approved, and signed off by the ONE
Head Cutman or a Cutman appointed by him.
• ONE will supply approved tape and gauze.
• If the athlete chooses to use their own tape and gauze, the athlete must submit it at the rules
meeting and have it approved and kept in the Head Cutman’s possession until its use in the locker
• Approved tape and gauze are the only items allowed for use in wrapping hands.
Gauze may extend over the knuckles and cover the hand and wrist. Tape may cover the hand and wrist
but must remain behind the knuckles.
• Vaseline will be applied cageside to the facial area, above and around the eyes, by the appointed
ONE Cutman ONLY. Cornermen may not apply or have Vaseline, or any other slippery substance
in their possession. Use of any substance is grounds for penalty or disqualification.
• Athletes may request for the additional application of Vaseline in between rounds – the appointed
ONE Cutman must do the application of Vaseline.
• If an athlete or cornerman removes Vaseline from the applied areas of the athlete’s face and
applies it to any other part of the athlete’s body, this may result in a yellow card.
During the athlete’s walk-in/entrance, a ONE Referee will stop the athlete at the inspection point. This is
where the athlete says goodbye to their team, as they will not be allowed to touch the athlete again after
the Referee directs the athlete to step on the mat for equipment check and application of Vaseline. After
the application of Vaseline, the Referee will direct the athlete to enter the cage. The Corner Inspector will
direct the athlete’s cornermen to the platform behind the athlete’s corner.
There will be a ONE Corner Inspector in both red and blue corners. Athletes and cornermen are to obey
the Corner Inspectors at all times. Cornermen must remain seated during the rounds, refrain from
pounding on the cage apron, and refrain from any unsportsmanlike conduct. Cornermen must
immediately heed the Corner Inspector’s instructions to enter, clean up, exit the cage, and be seated when
All athletes must submit their medicals prior to the deadlines instituted by ONE Championship. The
organization will indicate which medical tests and blood tests have to be completed. During event week,
athletes must also undergo a CT scan and a doctor’s check prior to the match, carried out by a doctor
appointed by ONE Championship. Delay in submitting medicals may result in a fine on the athlete’s purse.
Knockout: In the event that an athlete has been knocked out by strikes to the head during his match, ONE
Championship will ask the athlete to undertake a CT scan or MRI head scan to be cleared to compete. The
clearance scan must be presented as soon as possible to ONE Championship. The athlete will not be given
their next match by ONE Championship until ONE Championship has possession of the scan clearing the
athlete to compete. No exceptions will be made for this rule.
Cageside doctor:
• A doctor must be present at all times at matches under the auspices of ONE Championship.
• The cageside doctor will take measures he or she considers necessary from a medical viewpoint
before and during the matches or have these carried out on his behalf.
• During the match or the intervals between the rounds, the cageside doctor is obliged at the
request of the referee and/or cornermen to examine any wounds or the seriousness of an
athlete’s injury and, if necessary, to advise the referee and/or cornermen to suspend the match.
Only the referee may make such a request during the match. The advice given is binding.
• If the referee wishes to hear the cageside doctor’s advice with regard to the seriousness of an
athlete’s injury, he/she stops the match and requests the cageside doctor to examine the athlete.
Cornermen are forbidden from accompanying the cageside doctor.

If the cageside doctor ascertains that an athlete is experiencing functional disorders during the
course of the match such that, in his/her opinion, continuing the match would be irresponsible,
he/she is authorized to stop the match.
• Championship title bouts will consist of 5 x 5-minute rounds.

  • Titles with a maximum weight can only be won or defended if both athletes are at or
    under the proper weight. If the champion cannot reach the contracted weight within
    three hours following the final weigh-in, and they are obliged to defend the title, they lose
    their title. If the match is then won by the challenger, the challenger is the new champion.
    If the reigning champion wins the match, the title becomes vacant – the champion cannot
    retain the title since they did not achieve the title weight. If the challenger is too heavy
    and the match continues, and the champion is at the required weight, then the latter will
    remain the champion irrespective of the result of the match. If both athletes are too
    heavy, and the champion is obliged to defend his title, the title is vacant after the match.
  • The champion is obligated to defend his title at least once a year if an official title defense
    offer is made. If an official title defense offer is made and the champion cannot defend
    the title within a year, it may become vacant at the discretion of ONE Championship.
    • Normal bouts will consist of 3 x 5-minute rounds.
    • 1 Night 4-Man Tournament bouts will consist of 2 x 5-minute rounds.
    • All bouts will have a 1-minute rest break between each round.
    • Striking including kicks, knees, punches, forearm, and elbow strikes to the head, body and legs are
    allowed (with exception to illegal targets listed in “Fouls/Illegal Issues”).
    • Clinching and standing submissions are legal.

Athletes are considered grounded when they have any weight bearing part of their body other than the
soles of their feet touching the ground. For example: An athlete with one or both hands touching the
ground is “grounded.” An athlete with one or both knees touching the ground is “grounded.”
• All hand strikes including punches, forearms and elbows to the head, body and legs are legal.
• An athlete may kick or stomp to the body and legs of a grounded opponent.
• Kneeing to the head of a grounded opponent is legal.
• Up-kicks to the body and legs to a grounded opponent are legal.
• Up-kicks to the head, body and legs of a non-grounded opponent are legal

Submissions are legal.
• Kicks to the head of a grounded opponent are illegal and not permitted.
• Stomps to the head are illegal and not permitted

Athletes must demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times.
• No biting
• No eye gouging of any kind
• No orifice insertion (fish hooking nose and mouth), including cuts
• No head butting
• No hair pulling
• No striking the groin
• No small joint manipulation (control of 3 digits minimum is required)
• No strikes to the throat
• No grabbing the trachea
• No pinching, twisting or clawing the flesh
• No striking to the back of the head, neck or spine
• No striking an opponent who is under the care of the referee or doctor
• No striking an opponent between rounds or after the final bell
• No kicks to the head of a grounded opponent
• No stomping the head of a grounded opponent
• No throwing an opponent out/over the cage
• No spiking/pile driving/suplexing an opponent onto his/her head or neck, all throws that are
intended to spike the opponent, or otherwise put the opponents head, neck, or spine in jeopardy,
are illegal
• No holding or grabbing inside an opponent’s glove(s)
• No holding or grabbing an opponent’s shorts
• No grabbing or holding onto the cage

• No spitting
• No piercings, jewelry or contact lenses may be worn during the bout
• No deliberately disregarding the referee’s instructions
• No deliberately avoiding contact (consistently dropping mouthguard or running away is
considered timidity)
• No interference by the corner (distracting the referee)
• No Vaseline, liniments, body grease, gels, balms, lotions, oils, smelling salts, nasal inhalers and
bronchial inhalers or other substances may be applied to the hair, face or body of an athlete by
the cornerman, or any person other than the official ONE Cutman
• No banned substances
• The official ONE Cutman will apply Vaseline to the facial area at cageside
• Pouring water on an athlete is illegal

• Water is the ONLY beverage allowed for consumption prior to and during the bout
• Unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated; this would include swearing or abusive language
towards another athlete, an athlete’s team, the referee, a judge, any official or staff of ONE
• If unsportsmanlike behavior occurs before, during or after a bout, the referee can stop the bout,
penalize by yellow card deduction, or disqualify the offending athlete and have the athlete’s team
removed from the arena

Caution – A caution is given in the event of a minor violation. It may occur without stopping the action of
the bout.
Official Warning – In the event of repetition or a more significant violation, the referee will issue an official
warning. The referee will stop the action and make it clear and obvious that the athlete has been warned
for their infraction.
Yellow Cards – Any flagrant disregard of the rules or stalling, may result in a yellow card. A yellow card
will result in a 10% deduction in the athlete’s prize money and may factor on the judges’ decision. Each
yellow card is a successive 10% deduction from the athlete’s earnings. If an athlete is penalized with a
yellow card, the fouled opponent will be given the choice to resume the bout from the same position as
when the foul occurred or from a standing position.
Disqualification / Red Card – At the referee’s discretion an athlete may be disqualified based on repetitive
or severe fouling. If an athlete is disqualified the company may deduct a minimum of 30% to a maximum
of 100% of the athletes pay.
The referee has the discretion to issue Cautions, Warnings, Yellow Cards or Disqualifications based on the
nature, severity, and repetition of the fouling behavior. In doing so, the referee must have thoroughly
considered whether the athlete has, through their violation, damaged their opponent’s chances of victory,
and if the violation was deliberately committed.
When the action slows in the standing position, the referee will give the command “action”. When the
action slows on the ground, the referee will give the commands “improve your position” or “work to
finish”. If the action has not increased, the referee may stand the athletes or penalize with a yellow card.
If a yellow card is displayed, the bout will resume from the standing position.
Cageside judges may display a red or blue marker as a signal to the referee and cornermen that the athlete
from the corner displayed is stalling. Cornermen should take this display into account and encourage their
athlete to compete more actively and aggressively.
If an athlete is injured from a foul, he/she will have a cumulative time equal to that of 1 round (5 minutes)
to recover. If the athlete is unable to recover from the injury from the foul the match will either be ruled
a disqualification, no contest or go to the judges score card for a technical decision, depending on the
intention of the foul and/or when the foul occurred in the match.
• Knockout (KO)
• Technical Knockout (TKO)
• Submission (tapping out physically/verbally)
• Referee stoppage
• Doctor stoppage
• Corner throwing in the towel
• Disqualification
• Judges’ decision
The judges will use The Global Judging Criteria to evaluate the bout and render a decision.
To score a bout, the judges will take into account in descending order of importance:

  1. Near KO or Near Submission
  2. Damage
  3. Striking Superiority / Ground Control
  4. Takedowns / Takedown defense
  5. Aggression
    Bouts are evaluated in their entirety, not round by round.
    There will be no winner if the bout ends in a No Contest.
    No Contest results if:
    • If an athlete cannot continue as the result of an accidental foul and at or before 2 minutes 30
    seconds of round 2 of a three-round match or, before the bell sounds ending the 3rd round of a
    five-round match.
    • If the referee decides both athletes must be disqualified.
    • In the unlikely event of a double knockout.
    If a bout ends prematurely due to an injury resulting from an accidental foul:
    • If the accidental foul occurs after 2 minutes 30 seconds of round 2 of a three-round match or after
    the bell sounds ending the 3rd round of a five-round match, the partial round is scored and the
    judges go to their score cards for a technical decision. If it occurs at any earlier time, the bout will
    be declared a “No Contest”. If the fouled athlete is ahead on the scorecards, the fouled athlete
    will be declared the winner by technical decision. If the fouling athlete is ahead or it is tied, the
    bout will be declared a “No Contest”.
    • If a match ends due to an injury from an intentional foul, the injured athlete may win by
    Disqualification or result in a “No Contest” at the discretion of the referee after consultation with
    the cageside doctor and commissioner/acting commissioner in charge.
    • MMA Trunks
    • Spandex/Lycra shorts (that may not extend beyond the knee in length)
    • Board Shorts
    Shorts are not to have any exposed pockets or ties.
    Logos and/or the names of sponsors on the shorts or clothing worn by the athlete and/or his cornermen
    are permitted, provided that prior approval has been granted by ONE Championship. Writing on the bare
    torso is not permitted. The trunks must be inspected and approved at athlete attire check.
    Strapping of joints and neoprene knee and ankle supports are NOT permitted.
    • Mouthguard
    • Groin cup protector (Optional for female athletes)
    • 4oz ONE Championship gloves (provided by ONE Championship. No athlete shall supply their own
    ● Cornermen may not wear or display any unapproved brands, sponsors or national flags.
    ● It is an offence to have any kind of liniment in the corner of an athlete, including Dencorub, Thai
    liniment or any similar substance. An athlete will be disqualified if this occurs.
    ● Cornermen are to stay in their assigned corner during a bout. The referee may stop a bout if a
    cornerman strays from his/her assigned area.
    ● Cornermen must follow the Corner Inspectors’ instructions at all times.
    ● Trainers, cornermen, or teammates are not allowed to enter the cage until the bout has been
    officially stopped or finished by the referee. The Corner Inspector will let the cornermen know
    when they can enter the cage.
    ● ONE Championship allows 3 cornermen in the pre-bout locker room and outside the cage.
    ● 2 cornermen may enter the cage to care for their athlete between rounds.
    ● Cornermen must keep the corner clean and dry between rounds and immediately exit the cage
    upon the “seconds out” call.
    When an athlete arrives at ONE Championship’s official hotel during event week, their weight will be
    Event week will continue with a 3-day weigh in process as follows:
  • 2 days prior to event day: 1st official weigh in and hydration test (1:00pm), athletes will be given
    a urine specific gravity test. For this test, athletes will submit a urine sample to a collection
    technician. Under the guidance of our doctor, the technician and doctor will perform a test of
    your urine sample to ensure that you are fully hydrated (hydrated = urine specific gravity
    ≤1.0250). If you pass the hydration test, you will weigh in. Athletes’ weight must be within the
    limits of their contracted weight class or Catchweight limit. If an athlete fails hydration or misses
    weight, they will be permitted to retest up to 4:00pm.
  • 1 day prior to event day: 2nd official weigh in and hydration test (1:00pm), athletes will be given
    a urine specific gravity test. For this test, athletes will submit a urine sample to a collection
    technician. Under the guidance of our doctor, the technician and doctor will perform a test of
    your urine sample to ensure that you are fully hydrated (hydrated = urine specific gravity
    ≤1.0250). If you pass the hydration test, you will weigh in. Athletes’ weight must be within the
    limits of their contracted weight class or Catchweight limit. If an athlete fails hydration or misses
    weight, they will be permitted to retest up to 4:00pm.
  • Event day: Athletes who have made weight and hydration on both of the previous days, do not
    have to weigh in on event day. If an athlete missed weight and/or hydration on either of the
    previous 2 days, the athlete must make weight and hydration on event day as usual.
    If an athlete fails the hydration test on event day, they will not be allowed to compete.
    If an athlete is over their contracted weight, their opponent will be informed and offered to accept a
    Catchweight. If the opponent accepts the Catchweight the match will be allowed at the new weight. The
    opponent will receive a minimum of 20% of the overweight athlete’s total pay as a penalty. A Catchweight
    will only be allowed if the heavier athlete is no more than 105% higher in weight than the lighter athlete.
    For example, a 65.3kg athlete may compete against a 68.6kg or less opponent. (65.3kg x105% = 68.56kg).
    If the weight is more than 105%, a Catchweight will not be allowed and the match will be cancelled.
    ● IVs are not allowed.
    ● The use of saunas or sauna suits are not permitted.
    All athletes and coaches are deemed to be familiar with the Global Rule Set. Appeals pleading unfamiliarity
    with the rules will not be accepted. Each event must be preceded by a rules meeting. Tardiness or failure
    to attend rules briefing may result in a penalty on the athlete’s purse.
    Protests that address either a misapplication of a rule or regulation, or an irregularity or impropriety
    regarding the conductance of a contest or event should be submitted directly to ONE Championship, and
    be presented in accordance with their procedures regarding protests. Protests limited to questioning a
    judgment made by an official or officials, risk being summarily dismissed. Raising protests or bringing a
    dispute to the attention of an official during the event can be penalized either with immediate
    consequences, or future consequences in the form of a reprimand equivalent to a yellow card and the accompanying financial sanction.

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