Yesterday we announced a World’s first new ruleset to run alongside Pantheon Submission Grappling; Pantheon Submission Fighting!
Pantheon Submission Fighting incorporates closed-fist ground striking in 4oz gloves when the opponent is considered “grounded”. The ruleset was created to bring realism into sport grappling along with a method to encourage fan support and engagement.
The ruleset was compiled over several meetings with UFC referee Neil Hall with fighter safety and clarity in mind. Neil’s experienced advice as a referee in some of the world’s top MMA organisations and as head of MMA Officials has been instrumental in compiling a ruleset that we are confident will bridge the gap between grappling and MMA.
Pantheon Submission Fighting rulesets were created with safety and clarity at the forefront and, along with UFC Referee Neil Hall, the rules have been inspected and approved by UFC Doctor Chris Lam.
Pantheon Grappling Ruleset – Submission Fighting
Competitors must be at least 18 years old at time of weigh-ins in order to compete in a “Submission Fighting” event and competitors must show a valid photo ID with proof of age if any dispute to their age ahead of time.
Competitors cannot compete if they have been placed under medical suspension relevant to the bout. Suspensions can be overruled with a valid, timely and written doctor’s clearance.
Competitors cannot have fought in any impact sport in the last 7 days including, but not limited to, Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA, Combat Sambo, CJJ or “Submission Fighting”, etc.
All competitors will be subject to, and must pass, a medical at least two hours before their scheduled bout. All competitors will undergo a medical after the bout and agree to and abide by any suspension given.
Method of Victory
The bout can be won via submission or Knockout (KO)/ Technical Knockout (TKO) with No Referee Decision.
If the bout is not finished by the aforementioned methods, at the end of the bout the result will be declared a draw providing no contingencies/penalties outlined below.
The referee’s discretion is final and the competitors should NEVER stop fighting until the referee signals an end to the bout intervening physically and waiving the bout off at the end of alloted time or via stoppage.
The referee also has the power to call timeout bringing a pause to the bout in the event of a foul or to call in the doctor to investigate any injury. Following the pause or doctor’s advice (where necessary) the referee will make a decision as to the continuation of the bout, restarting in the appropriate position, unless there is a foul, where in the referee will give or take the advantage as appropriate.
The referee has the power to call an end to the bout at any time.
“Tapping” is defined as one competitor yielding physically:
Visibly tapping the floor or, preferably, the opponent with the hand or, in some cases where the arms are restricted, with the foot, to signal the opponent and the referee there is a submission. Two clearly visible taps will signal to the referee that the bout is over wherein they will waive the bout off. Referee’s discretion as to what consists of a tap is final.
Or yielding verbally:
This includes a scream or audible outburst indicating significant pain or injury. If the competitor wants the bout to continue they must be aware of this and act appropriately.
If Referee feels one competitor is unable to defend themselves intelligently the referee will waive off the bout at their own discretion. This includes a technical submission or TKO if one competitor experiences an injury that impedes their ability to safely defend themselves at the referee’s discretion and the bout will be declared a technical submission/TKO as appropriate.
The referee will intervene if a competitor loses consciousness and the bout will be declared a technical submission/KO as appropriate.
Fouls and Penalties
A competitor will receive two warning calls for stalling, on the third call a penalty point will be awarded and the only way for that competitor to win will be to finish their opponent; a fourth stalling call will lead to disqualification.
Stalling calls can occur for competitors in dominant position. All stalling calls will be at the referee’s discretion and will occur with ~25-30 seconds of inactivity.
A foul will lead to a warning, a second foul will lead to a penalty point and the only way for that competitor to win will be to finish their opponent; a third will lead to disqualification. This is at the referee’s discretion.
A deliberate, blatant and/or malicious foul can lead to either an instant penalty point or an instant disqualification if the opponent cannot continue or is physically impaired at the referee’s discretion (see Illegal techniques section below).
Vomiting will lead to instant disqualification of the competitor in question.
Competitors must adhere to common sense and decency when it comes to personal hygiene, competitors can be disqualified for insufficient levels of personal hygiene.
Fingernails and toenails must be sufficiently trimmed to avoid the risk of cutting or scratching an opponent.
Hair shall be trimmed or tied back, with appropriate material e.g no metal parts, so that the hair does not interfere with the vision of the competitor, cover the competitor’s eyes or impede their opponent.
No cosmetics, gel, piercings or jewellery to be worn during the bout.
Mouthpiece is mandatory.
Wrestling Shoes are optional.
A groin guard is optional for both male and female competitors. Muay Thai steel cups and boxes used in Boxing are prohibited. Female competitors may wear a pelvic protector with non-rigid material at the option of the competitor.
Lower body clothing is mandatory and should be appropriate for both male and female competitors e.g. Shorts, spats, Vale Tudo shorts. Female competitors must also wear a tight fitted top; this includes a spandex top, rash guard, or sports bra.
Clothing with zips, pockets or anything that will present a danger to either competitor is prohibited. Shorts must be above the knee line. Vulgar clothing/clothing in the shape of Y-fronts is also prohibited at promoter’s discretion.
No slippery substances allowed on body or on the clothing. Vaseline can be applied to the eyebrows by a referee before commencement of the bout and at the side of the mat.
Gloves and handwraps
Gloves will be 4oz and mandatory. If the gloves are not provided by Pantheon Grappling then gloves should be new or in very good condition.
Hand wraps optional following “hand wrapping rules of MMA”:
The bandages/hand wraps shall consist of soft gauze type cloth that is no more than 13.5 meters in length and 5 cm in width and held in place by no more than 3m of surgeon’s tape, provided that the tape shall be no more than 2.5 cm in width for each hand.
The surgeon’s tape shall be placed directly on each hand for protection near the wrist but may not extend past the padding of the gloves.
The binding of surgeon’s tape must not be applied within 1.25 cm of the knuckles of the competitor’s hand with the exception of 1 strip across the knuckles to hold gauze in place and strips of tape that are placed between the fingers of a competitor.
Bandages and tape shall be placed on the competitor’s hand in the dressing room prior to the bout in the presence of the runner.
The mat area is 6 x 6 meters, no cage or fence.
If the competitors go out of this area, the referee will restart the bout in the centre of the mat. The bout will be paused at a moment deemed appropriate by the referee and restarted in the same position they were when they left/reached the edge of the mat when the referee said “Stop”. If the competitors were standing or grounded, they will start standing or grounded again respectively in as accurate to the previous position as possible at the referee’s discretion.
Leaving the mat in a submission may result in being restarted within that submission hold as per the referee’s discretion. Leaving the mat area to escape a submission purposely/proactively is prohibited and will incur a warning in the first instance and a penalty point in the second instance, as per the referee’s discretion.
Standard bout = 10 Minutes
Featured bout = 15 Minutes
Closed fist and open palm strikes to a “Grounded Opponent”:
Any positions in which anything other than the soles of the combatants feet are touching the ground.
Shoulder strikes to a grounded opponent.
Any kind of choke (except for using the hand to compress the windpipe).
Smothers (covering the mouth).
Any arm bar, shoulder or wrist lock.
Any hip, leg, foot or ankle lock.
Any takedown (except spiking) including scissor takedowns.
Slamming, unless spiking.
All Nelsons, neck cranks, bicep and calf slicers, crushes, compressions and crucifixes.
Grabbing the clavicle, your own shorts or gripping no less than four fingers of the hand.
Kicking, knees, elbow/forearm/finger strikes or head-butts.
Striking in any format unless the competitor’s opponent is grounded.
Striking to the “back of the head”:
Strikes are not permissible in the nape of the neck area up until the top of the ears. Above the ears, permissible strikes do not include the Mohawk area from the top of the ears up until the crown of the head. The crown of the head is found where the head begins to curve.
In other words, strikes behind the crown of the head and above the ears are not permissible within the Mohawk area. Strikes below the top of the ear are not permissible within the nape of the neck area.
Strikes to the spine.
Spiking the opponent to the top of their head, risking injury to the spine.
Eye gouging, biting, fish hooking, spitting, thumbing, scratching, pinching or twisting of the skin.
Grabbing of the ears or nose, any hair pulling or touching groin area.
Small joint manipulation including individual finger or toe holds bending of the fingers (gripping four fingers legal).
Throws from within a joint lock.
Slippery substances allowed on body or clothing.
Throat strikes/ impact to the throat of any kind.
Timidity, at referee’s discretion, including without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.
Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round.
Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
Calling for your own time out/stopping the bout without referee permission.
Gripping of the opponents clothing, however a competitor can grab their own shorts.
Corner Team Conduct
The corner team will not interfere with the bout.
They will remain respectful and refrain from abusive language.
Should the corner team throw in the towel, the referee will accept this as forfeiture of the bout and waive off the bout.
For more information regarding Submission Fighting, the rules and the matches, please contact email@example.com