Non-title main event fights in the UFC will be five rounds in the near future. While many fans around the world celebrated Dana White’s the announcement at UFC 131 –giving two-more rounds and hopefully eliminating some of the controversial judging to decide close fights– those wanting the UFC to come to Sweden have some concern.
Currently, the Svenska MMA Förbundet’s (SMMAF) for International/Professional MMA would allow for the UFC to have fights without any modifications to the standard unified rules, as long as a 5-round title was not on the card. Since title fights in Europe are not often scheduled, this was not much of a hurdle to overcome.
The length of MMA fights beyond 15 minutes at an event in Sweden however is a substantial issue, since it extends into discussions about fighter safety with damage to the head. These longer bout times is a challenge that other combat sports, such as boxing, face when looking to have combat sports for extended period of times.
If you read Section 16 of the SMMAF sanctioning rules for international/professional MMA, you will find :
§ 16 Matchlängd
16.1 En match skall pågå i tre (3) ronder.
16.2 En rond skall pågå i fem (5) minuter.
§ 16 Match Length
16.1 A match shall last for three (3) rounds.
2.16 A round will last for five (5) minutes.
MMA Viking will reach out to the SMMAF to discuss how this obstacle can be overcome, or if the UFC would be flexible with putting on an event without a five round main event bout. Either way, I’m sure this is just another obstacle, and will be overcome with some flexibility between the two organizations.