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02nd Aug 2016

Rule change proposed to reduce number of female fighter wardrobe malfunctions

Too little too late for some fighters

Ben Kiely

Some of Reebok’s female fight kits could become illegal if this rule change is passed.

The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) body is set to vote on a few rule changes on Tuesday that may have implications on fighters in the UFC.

New proposals include a change to the definition of “grounded opponents”, new rules to help prevent eye-pokes as well as clearer regulations for female fight apparel.

This comes following several high-profile wardrobe malfunctions in the UFC including Valerie Letourneau’s sports bra malfunction against Joanne Calderwood and Elizabeth Phillips’ loose sports bra slip against Jessamyn Duke.

Under the new proposals, female fighters would no longer be allowed to wear t-shirts, belly-tops or loose-fitting tank tops, the latter are currently presented as an option to female fighters in the UFC instead of the Reebok sports bra, as MMA Fighting report.

Instead, fighters would either wear a sports bra or a form-fitting rash guard (either sleeveless or sleeves above the elbow). As for pants, female athletes will be subjected to the same rules as men – no grappling pants or shorts that go past the knee.

It is important to note that even if a rule change is voted in by the ABC, the state commissions don’t have to adopt them.

UPDATE: The ABC body passed these rule changes, but it is unknown whether the state comissions will implement them or not.

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